When energy production is becoming decentralised and ICT is increasingly present in homes, the integration of renewable energy sources (RES) and promotion of energy efficiency should benefit from smarter homes, buildings and appliances, as well as (the batteries in) electric vehicles. Smart homes and buildings are one crucial element because system integration and optimisation of distributed generation, storage and flexible consumption will require interoperable smart technologies installed at building level. Internet of Things (IoT) enables a seamless integration of home appliances with related home comfort and building automation services allowing to match user needs with the management of distributed energy across the grid, and to gain access to benefits from Demand Response. Novel services should lead to more comfortable, convenient and healthier living environment at lower energy costs for consumers whilst enabling an active participation of consumers in the energy system and energy markets.
The aim of the pilot is to exploit IoT reference architectures models that allow for combining services for home or building comfort and energy management, based on platforms that enable the integration of relevant digital technologies like IoT, AI, cloud and big data services and where applicable, combined with blockchain technologies. Energy services, where appropriate, can be combined with additional non-energy services and foster the take-up of smart energy communities (in particular peer-to-peer energy markets). The aim is also to demonstrate platforms through a large-scale pilot for experimentation and co-creation with users under real-life conditions in interaction with the electricity and wider energy system, and to demonstrate the benefits of energy management through IoT application and services for the users. The envisaged architecture should allow for third party contributions that may lead to new value added services both in energy and the home/building domain.
This shall be done by developing interoperability and seamless data sharing, through aligning existing standards from the utility and ICT domains, across the devices and systems to enable innovative building energy management services, with the aim to save costs to consumers, to facilitate the integration of renewable energy from distributed intermittent sources and to support energy efficiency. The pilot needs to demonstrate plug-and-play energy management solutions within the home, by taking into account legacy of existing smart home or building solutions, mapping their approach to common architecture models and implementing relevant standards (such as SAREF). Pilots need to ensure interoperability in the communication interfaces between smart devices and from the smart device to the gateway/energy manager and/or to the cloud, i.e. a service provider that uses the data generated from the device, so that smart home services can also be used for the benefit of the electricity and wider energy system. Selected pilots should promote the use of these interoperable solutions as widely as possible involving many different types of appliances (e.g. including white-goods, heating, cooling and ventilation, home & building automation energy management, metering and control, batteries, photovoltaic panels, charging for electric vehicles), and explore the need for further standardisation and legislation. Pilot work plans should include feedback mechanisms from the users to allow adaptation and optimisation of the technological and business approach to the particular use case.
The selected large-scale pilot shall in particular address all of the following issues:
- demonstrate scalability and stimulate spill-over effects; demonstrate that such platforms lead to a marketplace for new services in EU homes and buildings; identify best-practices, inter alia for consumer involvement, in installation, and in sales packages of devices and services;
- for large-scale piloting and ecosystem building, proposals shall involve financial support to third parties, in particular SME's and start-ups, to support the incorporation of users of the pilots, developers of additional applications, replication of the pilots through new sites or new connected devices, and complementary assessment of the acceptability of the use case where appropriate;
- the selected project shall cover the whole value chain for IoT-based services: appliance manufacturers and technology providers, ICT suppliers, energy suppliers, as well as independent aggregators or energy service companies (ESCOs), and one or more grid service operators (transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs));
- the selected project is expected to contribute to the consolidation and coherence work in cooperation with similar EU-funded projects through the BRIDGE initiative and the CSA supporting the activities defined under "DT-ICT-13-2019: Digital Platforms/Pilots Horizontal Activities a)" below by contributing their results of horizontal nature (interoperability approach, standards, security and privacy approaches, business validation and sustainability, methodologies, metrics, etc.);
- link with Member States' and Associated Countries' initiatives in this area.
For this topic, the four activities and impact criteria described in the introductory section 'Platforms and Pilots' have to be applied. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 30 million for Innovation Actions would allow the areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
- Increasing number of energy apps/services and home devices and appliances that are connected through the Internet allowing to shift consumption according to wholesale market or grid-constraints-related price signals.
- Validation of user acceptance, as well as demonstration of viable concepts that ensure privacy, liability, security and trust in connected data spaces.
- Accelerated wider deployment and adoption of IoT standards and platforms in smart homes and buildings in Europe and development of secure, cost-effective and sustainable European IoT ecosystems and related business models.
- Demonstration that such platforms lead to a marketplace for new services in EU homes and buildings with opportunities also for SMEs and start-ups.
- Contribution to increasing the use of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, offering access to cheaper and sustainable energy for consumers and maximising social welfare.
Illustration Photo: Smart home (credits: Aaron Yoo / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0))