Assessing the integration of smart technologies and the application of the Smart Readiness Indicator in 6 European countries: A Multimethod Approach 



Smart building and technologies


Building operations are being completely transformed by smart technologies, which provide prospects for more efficient energy production, use, storage, and supply.  Smart technologies can not only improve the interaction with the energy system but also help lower the building’s carbon footprint and mitigate peak demand. In this context, the term “smartness” often refers to a building’s capacity to perceive, comprehend, convey, and react effectively to a variety of dynamic circumstances, such as the demands of its occupants and the surrounding environment. 

Recognising the importance of the “smartness” of buildings, the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in 2018 introduced the “Smart Readiness Indicator” (SRI) as a voluntary instrument to promote digitalization and smart technologies. The SRI intends to increase knowledge and trust in the advantages of smart technology by assessing a building’s capacity in three primary areas: energy efficiency optimisation, grid responsiveness, and adaptation to occupants’ demands. The SRI2MARKET Deliverable 2.1 (D2.1) entitled “Policy context for the SRI”, which focuses on France, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Austria, and Cyprus, assesses the policy context related to smart technologies and explores the implementation challenges and potential of the SRI so far. To do so, the study uses a multimethod approach following the steps below:

  1. Investigation of the relevant legislative frameworks in the EU and at national levels,
  2. Elicitation of stakeholder insights through questionnaires and interviews,
  3. Summarising potentials and challenges through a Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results (SOAR) analysis. 

Key takeaways 

The assessment of smart technology integration and SRI implementation in Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Portugal, and Spain reveals varying levels of readiness and challenges. SOAR analysis identifies regulatory support strengths, opportunities in ongoing initiatives, aspirations for expanded coverage, and results that raise reliability concerns, particularly about the Smart Readiness Indicator’s methodology. Regardless of infrastructure and policy support, all countries recognise smart building technologies’ transformative potential in improving energy efficiency, grid responsiveness, and occupant comfort. Moving forward, addressing the challenges identified through SOAR analysis and capitalising on opportunities can help these countries achieve a more efficient, flexible, and sustainable building sector that aligns with the EU’s broader energy and climate goals.


Key policy recommendations emerge to promote smart technology integration. These include updating national legislation to mandate Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS) and smart EV charging stations, as well as speeding up smart metre deployment and incentivizing on-site energy generation. Robust regulatory frameworks for Demand Response (DR) mechanisms and smart charging infrastructure, which are consistent across regions, are critical. Professional assessors require education and training on the SRI methodology, with an emphasis on enriched courses that cover methodology and service catalogues. Integrating SRI into the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) framework speeds up certification processes, while updating the SRI methodology with detailed climate data could be a next step for meeting long-term sustainability targets.


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