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enabling Consumers to Learn about, Engage with, Adopt and regulate Renewable energy technologies 2.0

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CLEAR 2.0 (enabling Consumers to Learn about, Engage with, Adopt and regulate Renewable energy technologies 2.0)

Período documentado: 2019-03-01 hasta 2020-02-29

The successful story of the first EU funded CLEAR project (IEE 13-588) – enabling Consumers to Learn about, Engage with and Adopt Renewable energy technologies - will continue from September 2017 with Clear 2.0. It will actively guide consumers through all the stages leading to the purchase of domestic renewable and low-carbon energy technologies. It has the objective to enable consumers to become more aware, active players, to save money and to easily become “prosumers”.

Strategy
The Clear 2.0 project accompanied consumers through all the stages leading to the purchase and the correct efficient use of domestic renewable and low-carbon energy technologies. It focused as well on changing behavior and optimization of existing installations.
The main needs of a home, including heating/cooling and electricity production (including storage and monitoring systems) will be addressed through a consumer-centric approach. The aim is to change behavior and form collective consumer groups to support the purchase of renewable energy systems such as photovoltaic installations, batteries, pellet stoves and heat pumps for heating and cooling.
The four major barriers (awareness, behavior, stability of legislation and price) to the investment in RES have been directly addressed with the aim to achieve a higher consumer engagement.
BEUC and the consumer organizations focus their advocacy work on relevant legislative developments in order to overcome existing barriers and facilitate consumers’ participation in the energy market. It will distill policy lessons to create a favorable and stable national and European policy framework for the benefit of all European consumers.

Partners engaged
The CLEAR consortium strength lies in our extensive knowledge of consumers and our technical expertise.
The consortium is composed of 6 consumer organizations (Test Achats/Test Aankoop, OCU, DECO Proteste, Altroconsumo, Mipor, dTest), the International Consumer Research & Testing (ICRT) and the European agency of consumers (BEUC)
What did we do?
• Got better understanding of consumers’ motivations and main triggers to change their behaviour by conducting online interviews.
• Tested what makes consumers use energy more efficiently by monitoring a group of households, providing them with information and equipment.
• Helped consumers make better informed choices by assessing the performance of renewable systems, an making this information accessible to more households through new online tools.
• Accompanied the consumer to buy cheaper and smarter through group purchases.
• Contributed to better national and EU energy policies where we advocated for easy and fast administrative and permit processes as well as for one stop shops providing consumers with information and personalised advice.

What we achieved
CLEAR 2.0 organised 17 group purchases of renewable energy installations.
These campaigns and related CLEAR 2.0 partners’ actions triggered more than 29,000 installations of solar panels, pellet stoves or heat pumps for heating or cooling in households. The vast majority of installations were solar panels
(71%), followed by heat pumps (18%).
Consumer organisations have been raising awareness and providing testing results on above technologies in more than 80 articles in their magazines.
Thanks to CLEAR 2.0 consumers are now producing an additional 246 GWh of renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of doing 15,000 laps around the equator by car.
Consumers participating in CLEAR 2.0 achieved cumulative savings of 255 MWh/year and managed to directly use 26 MWh/year renewable energy they produced (self-consumption). This means cumulative savings of 97t CO2 /year.
The Project is creating a strong legacy. The project influenced and will influence ecodesign and product regulations/standards on several RES Technologies.
It also developed many policy recommendations that will guide consumer organisations in the following years:
- AVOID FREQUENTLY CHANGING LEGISLATION/TAXATION
Regulatory instability, such as the tax on sun in Spain, changes in taxation and legislation to policies on renewable energy, undermine consumer trust and cut their appetite to engage in renewable technologies.
- ENSURE CONSUMERS CAN EASILY ACCESS FINANCING
A variety of financing options should be available to households: affordable and well-designed green loans (with payments in installments), public funding for emerging technologies as well as tax incentives and ‘pay as you save’ schemes. Consumers should be able to access the right type of financing that works for them.
- MAKE BETTER DEALS MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE
Group purchases and negotiated advantages can lower the costs for consumers. However, as group purchases of technologies are difficult to sustain in the long run, additional funding for these campaigns may be needed.
- PROVIDE CONSUMERS WITH CLEAR, RELIABLE AND GRANULAR INFORMATION ON CONSUMPTION
Consumers should have access to all data on their energy consumption frequently enough. While smart meters will generate huge amount of data, consumption information should be communicated to consumers via an interface of their choice. Information should be clear, visually attractive and granular enough (i.e. per appliance).
- NUDGE CONSUMERS THROUGH EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS
Consumer organisations have been providing consumers with behavioral tips such as how to optimist the use of appliances like washing machines, or make savings via eco-modes. Consumers could also profit from advice on smaller size investments and other tips on how to shift their energy consumption.
- IMPROVE INFORMATION ON AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF APPLIANCES
Set stricter energy efficiency requirements for heat pumps and remove the worst performing appliances from the market. At the same time, the Energy label for heating appliances should be revised to reflect the real-life use.