When the energy supply faces severe constraints and threatens to come short for the demand, European eyes turn to the buildings where we live and work: how much energy do they waste? How can we make them more efficient?

Despite the European-wide roll out of the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) – an instrument that assesses how close a building comes to being energy smart and how it can be further upgraded -, adoption has been happening at different paces. The attractiveness of digitalization investments has proven to vary among geographies, and regional differences in regulation and markets stress inequalities.

As a response, IEECP is leading SRI2MARKET: the European project that supports specific Member States with overcoming regional barriers to SRI implementation by proposing public funding schemes for smart readiness upgrades in buildings and letting all stakeholders – from owners to investors – see the benefits of making their properties smart ready.

Learning faster by learning together

Six member states will engage in SRI2MARKET: Austria and France with ongoing test phases and lessons learnt; Portugal and Spain with active interest in rolling out SRI; and Croatia and Cyprus looking to replicate success strategies. The project will gather lessons learned by those that are well advanced in rolling out SRI and use them to support countries still beginning their test phases and/or struggling to encourage smart upgrades – an effort that should accelerate SRI adoption and inspire action among those that are not early movers.

To achieve this goal, SRI2MARKET will propose new public funding schemes to finance smart readiness upgrades in buildings; it will provide training to EPC assessors on the SRI to encourage investment and will clarify the calculation method of the Indicator. It will also develop and disseminate recommendations to guide building owners in selecting the automation capabilities that best fit their buildings.

SRI and the path to a greener Europe

The SRI methodology rates the smart readiness of buildings (or building units) for their capability to perform three key functionalities: (a) optimize energy efficiency and overall in-use performance, (b) adapt their operation to the needs of the occupants, and (c) adapt their operation according to signals from the grid (to provide demand response services).

A comprehensive assessment of the European building stock in what relates to smart readiness supports the design of intervention plans and priorities, thus accelerating the transition to a more efficient EU energy system. The exchange of experiences among member states also speeds up learning for those who start later.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 952930.

Article by IEECP. 

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