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Smart Energy Services Integrating the Multiple Benefits from Improving the Energy Efficiency of the European Building Stock

Project description

A new model to upgrade energy performance of old buildings

About one-third of global energy is consumed in buildings – residential, public, and commercial – and the number is expected to grow in the coming years. Studies also show buildings will account for about 41 % of global energy savings potential by 2035. This makes it vital for Europe to create incentives to invest in energy efficiency. The EU-funded SENSEI project will develop concepts and business models to generate new sources of benefits that increase the value of an energy retrofit project. It will enable the compensation of energy efficiency as an energy resource. The main concept of SENSEI’s business models is pay-for-performance (P4P), which engages both energy providers and third-party investors. The project’s models will be tested with real building data.


The Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model has been successful in attracting investments in energy efficiency, but mainly for single, large projects. Energy efficiency programs, on the other hand, constitute an alternative path to scaling up the number of buildings that implement energy efficiency interventions, but the practice of rebates and incentives that are paid up front creates a need to rely on deemed energy savings and on complex and costly regulations that hinder innovation. SENSEI will propose a solution to this deadlock. Building on earlier successful experimentation outside of the EU, we will design concepts and business models that will help: (a) generate new sources of benefits that increase the value of an energy retrofit project by enabling the compensation of energy efficiency as an energy resource, and (b) turn the project’s value into an investable asset to attract private financing. The main concept underlying the SENSEI business models is pay-for-performance (P4P), which offers an effective way to engage both energy providers and third-party investorsin energy efficiency. SENSEI will first elaborate P4P schemes for financing energy efficiency that can be implemented across the EU, and then integrate these P4P schemes with the preparation and implementation stages of the EPC model, with the intention of increasing and/or financing the gains in a building’s value that are produced by energy efficiency improvements. The developed concepts will utilize actual building data and the consortium’s competences to carry out a series of negotiation games among all SENSEI parties – representing all links in the EPC and P4P chain. The project has planned a series of activities to both disseminate the insights from these games and to support stakeholders in using our recommendations with the goal of rolling out the first P4P pilots in the EU.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 358 438,55
1043 GR Amsterdam

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 358 438,55

Participants (13)