Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Support for citizens to understand smart grids

Smart grids are still a novelty in many parts of Europe, yet they mark the beginning of a paradigm shift. The time has come to help Europeans understand what these new electrical grid systems are all about.
Support for citizens to understand smart grids
Smarts grids – the electrical grids of the future – boast a variety of high-tech aspects such as smart meters, smart appliances and renewable energy sources all aimed at advancing energy efficiency. Implementing smart grids across Europe, however, requires a change in how users and stakeholders engage in consuming energy. The deployment of smart grids strongly depends on appropriate technologies, incentives and end user acceptance.

With this in mind, the EU-funded S3C (Smart Consumer - Smart Customer – Smart Citizen) project sought to encourage stakeholders to adapt their energy behaviour. To achieve its aims, the project brought together experts from various disciplines, such as social science, electrical engineering and psychology, to find the best approaches for engaging stakeholders.

Supported by existing research and in-depth analysis of over 30 smart energy projects, it successfully elaborated customer engagement guidelines. It also developed and tested tools for stakeholders in the field smart grid and energy-efficiency projects, products and services.

In addition the project team analysed success factors for consumer involvement, as well as customer awareness and interaction. This also involved disseminating the tools and guidelines online in order to upgrade knowledge on implementation, as well as monitoring and assessing active demand programmes.

By the end of the project, S3C had produced an admirable toolkit with 50 tools and guidelines to help implement user-interaction schemes in future smart grid projects. It also outlined 24 recommendations for establishing favourable framework conditions. The results were disseminated to stakeholders through their active involvement, as well as through the comprehensive project website. Ultimately, this timely initiative represents an important step in encouraging sustainable development and energy efficiency in Europe.

Related information


Smart grids, electrical grid, smart meters, energy, S3C
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top