The Smart Energy Cluster: A Collaborative Force for the Energy Transition



Energy efficiency business models
Smart building and technologies
Building renovation


In order to make the smart energy transition a reality, 19 projects came together under the #SmartEnergyCluster to mutually support each other on developing, conceptualising and deploying new business models and concepts which fully tap the economic value and the wider benefits of integrated services.

After one year and a half from the establishment of the group, 10 projects ended, but many more joined, amounting now to 20 projects that combine different energy services, and aim to overcome the fragmentation of markets and segments and to enhance the cooperation and trust among different services providers and market actors, also across segments that so far do not have common business cases.

The cluster is working together in the framework of dissemination, communication and exploitation of the projects activities and results, aiming at engaging interested and common target groups. These collaborative actions also aims to multiply the impacts of the benefits of each project, including for example, the integration of new and smart service offers, reduced energy costs for end-users and payback times of investments into sustainable energy. In order to do that, the Cluster is also working on a common website to ease the communication and the news sharing among and outside the group.

The 20 projects that are now part of the #SmartEnergyCluster are presented below:

  • InEExSThe core concept of the LIFE project InEExS is the deployment of integrated energy services across sectors and carriers, and the tokenization of energy saving data in a public blockchain to facilitate cooperation among market segments and actors. InEExS improves the implementation of Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) Art7 and supports Obligated Parties to provide integrated service offers that enable energy savings, system efficiency and include non-energy benefits. Particular attention is placed on the development of business models and contractual schemes that facilitate the implementation of sector-integrating smart energy services and the deployment of a wide range of sustainable technologies, such as renewables (RES), electric vehicles (EVs), heat pumps, internet of things (IoT) controls and other energy efficiency (EE) measures.
  • iFLEX aims to develop a digital agent to act between consumers, home or remote RES assets, and various stakeholders, enabling the consumers to achieve specific energy targets through local energy management and demand response opportunities. The proposed framework provides a common approach to enhance user experience, level of automation and personalization in a wide variety of demand response and energy services.
  • InterConnect is the name of the project that gathers 50 European entities to develop and demonstrate advanced solutions for connecting and converging digital homes and buildings with the electricity sector. The main goal? Bringing efficient energy management within reach of the end-users by interoperable Solutions Connecting Smart Homes, Buildings and Grids. The project, which was approved by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, places the foundation for the future of smart energy management solutions by seven connected large-scale test-sites in Portugal, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece and France.
  • AUDIT-TO-MEASURE will help companies to uptake measures necessary to reduce their energy consumption, thus supporting their energy transition. It will develop and implement a new engagement strategy (called “Audit2Action”) to put into action the opportunities emerging from energy audits.
  • ENERGATE aims to facilitate the creation of an effective, ICT-enabled, energy efficiency marketplace bringing together energy services and sustainable finance to accelerate the renovation rate of buildings by increasing the chances for projects to be financed. ENERGATE envisions to transform the complex set of decision-making actions for targeted groups, even to non-experts, into a user-friendly and single-entry service.
  • EU-MORE targets an early replacement of old electric motors that remain in service in industry and in the tertiary sector. Electric motors have long lifetimes (30-40 year), which means that their replacement rate is slow. As a result of these excessive lifetimes, the actual savings of energy efficiency regulations are lower than the projections calculated by the impact assessments. By taking swift action, at least part of this lost savings potential could be recuperated, with all the associated benefits.
  • BungEES will develop an integrated package (a one-stop-shop package) of novel smart energy efficiency services (EES) integrating energy efficiency and distributed generation, demand response, e-mobility, energy storage/hybrid energy systems and integrating different energy sectors (e.g., electricity with heating and cooling), and to develop innovative financing and rewarding solutions. In addition, the integration of non-energy benefits and non-energy services will be investigated.
  • SmartSPINSplit incentives present a key challenge to the deployment of energy efficiency measures in buildings. This is because those who pay the energy bills are different from those who make investment decisions. With a focus on commercial buildings, the EU-funded SmartSPIN project will develop a new business model to improve their energy efficiency and flexibility. More specifically, the model will result in a greater uptake of smart energy services deployed via performance-based contracting in the sector. A SmartSPIN business model toolkit consisting of resources for stakeholders will also be created.
  • V2Market is an innovative service to incorporate EV batteries into the electricity system as storage and flexibility capacity using Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) and Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) technology. V2Market tackles system efficiency and uses big data and price forecasting ICT tools to extract the maximum value from pools of EVs. V2Market puts together all the relevant actors in the value chain to create new business models for aggregators, EV owners and flexibility buyers.
  • Neon will deliver next-generation integrated energy services for citizen energy communities to enhance the quality of life of building occupants, save energy along the value chain, and improve grid operation. The concept maximises the impact of traditional energy efficiency services through holistic optimisation of building operation and energy asset utilisation. NEON aims to enable integration of energy efficiency services for multi-measure building efficiency improvement; optimal energy asset scheduling for improved self-sufficiency, virtual power plant/virtual energy storage; advanced building control for optimal operation of heating/cooling systems, lighting, smart appliances, etc.; demand response services for grid flexibility improvement via explicit and implicit mechanisms; and use-tailored services for ensuring comfort, health and safety requirements.
  • PROBONO envisions to establish a people-focused European construction industry, by working in harmony with the broader community of stakeholders, to deliver scalable, sustainable, and viable energy-positive and zero-carbon Green Buildings and Neighbourhoods (GBN). PROBONO will provide strong examples of how Green Building Neighbourhoods’ technological and social innovations can be applied, with a vision focused on building infrastructure and a renewed focus on people and sustainability, taking full advantage of digitalization and smart technologies for the benefit of society.
  • Dedalus: The EU-funded project DEDALUS aims to design, develop, and demonstrate an SSH-driven multi-value energy carrier agnostic demand response ecosystem, tailored to optimize and manage automated Demand response in residential buildings.
  • Crete Valley: CRETE VALLEY aims to create a Renewable Energy Valley ‘Living Lab’ (REV-Lab) in Crete. It is envisioned as a decentralised renewable energy system that combines leading-edge ICT technologies, interoperable and open digital solutions (including data sovereignty), social innovation processes, and sound business models that are easy to adopt. CRETE VALLEY will demonstrate a digitalised, distributed, renewable, low carbon landscape that is affordable for all and fully covers the local energy needs on an annual basis, utilizing multiple renewable energy carriers and leveraging energy storage technologies.
  • DEESME 2050: DEESME 2050 builds on the developed DEESME multiple benefits approach to capacitate, assist and motivate companies to overcome the obstacles in energy efficiency measures uptake in the furniture sector and its value chain, mainly in Bulgaria, France, Italy and Poland. In order to achieve this, DEESME 2050 involves, supports and accompanies companies in the implementation of energy efficiency measures based on their level of readiness. The project also builds capacities of the companies’ staff on all working levels and endorses sustainability through the preparation of financing, standardisation and replication in cooperation with associations and policymakers.
  • DigiBUILD: It will develop and support novel digital building frameworks, transforming current data storage options into novel digital and more efficient ones. It will allow for improved ease of use and access to data and reduce emissions and costs.
  • Enpower: Enpower will design, develop, and demonstrate methodologies for data-driven, interactive, and closed-loop tools and services based on Smart Sustainable Homes (SSH) for energy-active citizens and energy-secure inter-sectoral communities towards a citizen-centric energy system.
  • MODERATE: MODERATE will develop an open platform for this purpose, making use of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things (IoT).
  • FORTESIE: FORTESIE project will develop building renovation packages tailored to meet the needs of different target groups and optimised for improved energy performance, CO2 reduction and increased comfort levels. These renovation packages will combine state of the-art construction materials and technologies, including prefabricated facades, building-integrated photovoltaics and heat pumps. Overall, FORTESIE aims to accelerate the Renovation Wave in Europe and promote more sustainable practices in the building industry.
  • BuiltHub: The EU-funded BUILTHUB project will define a roadmap and vision for a durable data flow to characterise the EU building stock. BUILTHUB will develop an organised and inclusive data collection method and an easy-to-access-and-use datahub in the form of a structured web-based platform. The platform will ensure the long-lasting data flow through a benefits-based engagement strategy addressing data and metadata providers and simple users. The strategy will be applied through the development of value information services tailored to platform users.
  • Reschool: RESCHOOL project will consider energy communities as a way to bring together and empower active consumers and prosumers as relevant energy stakeholders. The project will encourage citizen engagement, and facilitate their interaction with the grid as flexibility providers and their participation in electricity markets. RESCHOOL will deliver solutions and tools designed to support energy and flexibility management and interaction based on collaborative and gamification strategies.
  • RENergetic: The goal of the RENergetic project is to demonstrate the improvement of efficiency and energy autarky, the community involvement in and the socio-economic viability of three urban energy islands: The New Docks in Ghent (BE), the Warta Campus in Poznan (PL) and the Hospital and Research campus in Segrate-Milan (Italy).

The projects that have been part of the Cluster and are now closed, are the following: BD4NRG, MATRYCS, I-NERGY, BIGG, BRIGHT, EaaS, NUDGE, FrESCO.

If you want to stay updated on our cluster and be the first one to know about the new website, follow #SmartEnergyCluster on Twitter and LinkedIn!

If you are interested in joining the cluster, get in touch with [email protected] !


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