Taking some leaps forward to ensure consumers benefit from smart energy systems

We seem to be moving in a million directions at once. All of us are excited by new technologies and this is certainly true concerning our energy systems. Increasingly the “smart grid” is coming into being and many of us stare in wonderment what is happening next. Yes, we have the smart grid now and there are predictions of what this means in terms of moving to a low carbon economy and reducing our energy requirements. But how do we achieve those lofty goals? Fortunately, in Europe we have had an EU-funded project entitled S3C because it puts the consumer directly in the policy frame.  Now, we hear of its final conference and what it can provide to us. We have to be heartened that such projects are looking at “empowering people” because we as consumers so often feel lost in this myriad of developments. While the project is ending, EiD thinks their story is not over.

And if you have a similar story from your sustainable energy project, please let us know.


“Empowering people for the smart energy system of the future” – The S3C project announces its final conference and introduces a toolkit for end user engagement


On the 24th of September, the final conference of the S3C project was held in Berlin. The S3C consortium presented the final results from three years of research on the engagement of consumers in smart energy projects including the web-based S3C toolkit for end user engagement.

The EU research project Smart Consumer, Smart Customer, Smart Citizen (S3C) has recently launched the final version of the S3C toolkit for end user engagement. The S3C toolkit was developed for utilities, project managers, energy agencies and city developers who are involved or intend to become involved in the active engagement of consumers in smart energy projects.

The S3C toolkit features 35 guidelines and 14 ready-to-use tools on topics that have been identified the most promising opportunities for a long-term engagement of consumers, such as co-creation, community approaches or non-monetary incentivation strategies. The S3C tools and guidelines have been tested in the field by our smart grid project and utility partners.

The S3C project is officially concluding in October 2015. For its final conference, S3C invited high-level speakers, including Maher Chebbo, president of ESMIG. Apart from the project’s final results, the conference addresses central success factors and open questions for engaging consumers in smart grid projects and rollouts during three panel discussions on: Smart Energy Community Approaches, Smart Energy Research beyond S3C and Smart Energy Products and Services.

The final conference of the S3C project was held on the 24th of September in Berlin, at the “Tagungszentrum Neue Mälzerei”.

Some of the speakers at the S3C conference

Fotograf: André Wagenzik, S3C project, B.A.U.M.


Speakers at the conference from left to right: Michael Hübner, BMVIT, Coordinator of the ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus Initiative, Michele de Nigris, RSE, Chairman of ISGAN, Dr. Erik Laes, VITO, S3C project coordinator, Maher Chebbo, SAP, President of ESMIG, Kerstin Niemeier, B.A.U.M. Consult, Ludwig Karg, CEO B.A.U.M. Consult, S3C senior project manager, Richard Hampton, European Commission, S3C project officer, and Drs. Rob Kool, chair of the International Energy Agency’s DSM Programme.


The rule “one size does not fit all” also applies to the preferences of residential and commercial energy end-users. In S3C, they differentiated between three archetypes of end-users: the smart consumer, the smart customer and the smart citizen. S3C is developing and testing an innovative toolkit to facilitate the activation and long-term engagement of end users of energy.

The S3C project received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement N° 308765. The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Find out more on the S3C project website.

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