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Self-assessment and self-optimisation of buildings and appliances for a better energy performance


Proposals should develop and demonstrate cost-effective technological solutions for the self-assessment of actual energy performance of buildings and the products which use energy in buildings. Such solutions would rely on collection of real-time data from the products installed and used in the building (within a system or stand-alone) and aggregation of this data at the building level. The aim is to follow, over time, and with the best possible granularity, the actual consumption and the evolution of energy performance of the building, individual systems and individual appliances (including those that are integrated within systems).

The solution should ensure, to a certain extent, the energy-optimisation functions executed at building, system or appliances level based on the real time and historical data of energy consumption, which can be crossed with other data as appropriate.

Proposals should demonstrate how, thanks to existing smart capabilities of appliances, systems and sensors, it would be possible for a building to self-assess its energy performance, address, to a certain extent, its underperformance (lower than the average or lower than as designed energy performance) and provide information on the level of performance and related evolution – at building-level (aggregated view), but also at system / appliance level (disaggregated view).

In the calculation of energy performance, at building and product level, proposals should ensure full knowledge of and compliance with the requirements from the EPBD (Annex I on the calculation of energy performance), related CEN standards, with energy consumption measurement approaches and related processes involving smart functionalities (Ecodesign preparatory studies on smart appliances and on Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS)). They should also take into account the technological and regulatory state-of-the-art for (smart) metering and billing. For products regulated under Ecodesign and Energy Labelling, the measured and reported energy consumption should be benchmarked against the provisions of the relevant regulations and used to create a basis for future provisions. Information additional to energy consumption where applicable (i.e. load, programme) should be recorded in order to look into providing input on usage patterns and energy savings potential at appliance level. In this respect, proposals could include activities (e.g. training) aiming at improving skills of installers and service providers, when putting products and systems into service.

Proposals should make the best use of available interoperability solutions and should seek to support the promotion of European standards and other relevant European initiatives relevant for smart buildings, smart homes and smart services (semantics, e.g. SAREF, data models, data layers, protocols, software building blocks, APIs, middleware, solutions for smart services, standards, relevant industrial consortia or technology initiatives, etc.).

Proposals should demonstrate that the solution proposed would be applicable, based on available technology, across the European building stock and products groups available on the single market and, to this end will include a set of pilots where the solution will be deployed, tested, and related impacts assessed. Pilots should involve several types of products and technical building systems with longer lifecycles (e.g. boilers and water heaters, radiators, ventilation, lighting and BACS controlling one or more of these functions etc.) and with shorter ones (domestic appliances, ICT equipment, multimedia and consumer electronics etc.), testing several types of operating modes and user settings. Recharging points for electric vehicles and other forms of energy storage should also be incorporated in the pilots. Pilots should demonstrate self-assessment and self-reporting of energy consumption at appliancelevel.

The proposed solutions should not adversely affect the original functionalities, product quality, lifetime, as well as warranties of the appliances. They should be cost-effective, user-friendly and not require significant development, installation or maintenance work.

Besides the pilot demonstrations, proposals are expected to include clear business model development and a clear path to finance and deployment of the proposed solution. These business models and exploitation strategies should target the broad uptake of such solutions across the Europe and clarify how, these solutions could possibly support the development of related energy service businesses, in particular ESCO’s.

As part of exploitation activities, proposals should also investigate how such self-assessment solutions could support a forward-looking evolution of energy performance assessment practices, both for buildings (in relation to the EPBD and therein, in particular in relation to Energy Performance Certificates) and for energy-related products (in relation to testing products energy performance under Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations).

Projects are required to follow the H2020 guidance on ethics and data protection[[http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/ethics/h2020_hi_ethics-data-protection_en.pdf]] taking into account digital security, privacy and data protection requirements including the compliance with relevant directives/regulations (e.g. NIS[[Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union.]] , eIDAS[[Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC.]], GDPR[[Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation).]] ) and relevant National Legislation.

In addition, consortia should clarify how the proposed solution could support a cost-effective, performance- and data- based assessment of the smart readiness of a building (i.e. the calculation of the 'smart readiness indicator', within the meaning of the EPBD). In relation to this, proposals will also investigate how the solution proposed could lead to the self-assessment of buildings’ smart readiness capabilities beyond solely energy performance, in particular the capability of a building and its appliances to ensure the satisfaction of building users’ needs and the capability of a building to adapt operations based on signals from its environment, in particular the grid (i.e. energy flexibility).

The proposals should involve appliance suppliers (e.g. heating, cooling, domestic appliances, and ICT equipment), installers and building energy management solution suppliers. Partners from the energy sectors, which can have an interest in the accurate assessment of energy performance and consumption, can also be relevant (e.g. aggregators and/or suppliers and/or ESCO's).

The activities are expected to be implemented at TRL 6-8 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers the proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between 3 to 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the roadmap of the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) PPP.

While significant progress has been made, energy efficiency in the Europe is a battle that remains to be won. Buildings, as they represent the biggest energy consumer in the Europe, have a prominent role to play. New buildings consume today much less than they used to. This is due to ambitious policies: the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has set a demanding framework for energy performance of buildings, which has fostered a rapid evolution of technologies and practices towards greater levels of energy efficiency. This also applies to systems and products that are used in buildings, such as lighting, space and water heaters, domestic appliances and ICT equipment; EU-Regulations on energy-related products under the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling policies are estimated to deliver energy savings of around 175 Mtoe per year in primary energy by 2020, more than the annual primary energy consumption of Italy. Improving skills of installers and service providers can deliver further savings.

Energy performance of buildings generally does not reflect consumption from appliances that are not part of technical building systems, such as heating, ventilation and cooling systems. At a time when the designed energy performance of buildings and appliances is improving dramatically, it would be worth gaining an accurate vision and understanding of their actual, real-life energy performance. Access to information on the actual energy performance and energy consumption is essential to help users making informed choices, both in terms of investment and in terms of usage and maintenance. In this respect, a remaining challenge is to advance the way actual energy performance and consumption is assessed and measured. For buildings, the energy performance is mainly calculated at design stage, based on the characteristics of the buildings’ envelope, components and systems. Real consumption can be taken into account but to a certain degree that remains limited. For appliances, energy consumption is tested and monitored as they are placed on the market or put into service under conditions that aim to reflect real life usage. This approach is reliable but still, in-use performance may vary e.g. depending on the way buildings and products are commissioned, installed, set up and utilised, accordingly. For certain products, a specific challenge comes with the software or firmware updates of - usually connected - devices, which often change the original settings with considerable impact on the energy consumption (e.g. disabling of standby-modes). In addition, performance may evolve, i.e. decrease, over the lifetime, which is not reflected by the performance as designed or placed on the market. Addressing therefore the self-assessment of products actual energy performance to achieve or maintain better energy efficiency at appliance level and by extension a better energy management in the building is important.

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Primary Energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in million Euro);
  • Assessing the energy performance and energy consumption of buildings and products used therein with a greater accuracy;
  • Contribution to forward-looking calculation and measurement approaches under the EPBD (regulatory calculation of building energy performance, energy performance certification, and smart readiness indicator) and EU product efficiency legislation;
  • Investments in smart technologies triggered;
  • Reduction in energy consumption and costs, exceeding the additional energy consumption from ICT equipment and its related cost.

Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:

  • Reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project.