eTEACHER celebrates its first year: projects’ results and next steps.

After an intensive working year, the eTEACHER consortium gathers in Merida to discuss about the first-year results and its future objectives.

On October 2018, the H2020 funded project eTEACHER celebrated its first year of implementation. Now it’s time for partners to recapitulate the main results achieved and design a roadmap for next objectives. The consortium will gather together on the 28th and 29th of November in Merìda (Extremadura, Spain), where six out of 12 project demo sites are located. eTEACHER aims to empower energy end-users thus allowing them to achieve energy savings and to improve their comfort and health conditions within buildings by enabling behavioural change. This will be done through research, monitoring and trials within 12 pilot buildings that span across three countries, namely Romania, Spain and the UK.

During the first year, activities focused mainly on 3 topics: social studies that analyse energy end-users’ behaviour, ICT-based engagement activity that support energy efficient behaviour in buildings and definition of the functional and technical requirements for the BACS (building automation and control systems) that are add-on services of eTEACHER.

Analysing the social background has been the project’s first crucial action; this was done in order to characterise energy end-users’ behaviour, relate them to frameworks for building types and user types, and identify effective ICT-based behavioural change techniques that are appealing, user friendly and encourage users to save energy by optimising their comfort.

Moreover, one of eTeACHER’s primary research outcomes revealed that human behaviour has a crucial influence on energy use behaviour. While contextual factors influencing it can be easily identified, the influence that social factors have on energy use behaviour is less obvious and predictable. This often means that energy use in buildings can vary dramatically from one building to the next, even those of similar construction. Therefore, it is vital for eTEACHER to consider each stakeholder and associated behaviour, specifically in the context of the building they use and/or manage.

According to the results of the social and contextual analysis, and on the basis of the one size does not fit all mantra in energy behaviour change, the eTEACHER team organised two workshops to develop knowledge across the project team and with selected building users. The workshops share and draw upon key ideas identified in the previous analysis and identify ways on how in which users can apply this knowledge in the future. The numerous recommendations collected from participants in the workshops (see D1.3 for main results) highlighted the importance of maintaining a user-centred approach, which is perceived to be critical for the project’s success.

As part of the project, behavioural changes must be demonstrated in twelve actual buildings. A deep knowledge of the pilot buildings and a consolidated evaluation methodology are crucial elements one has to consider when planning a successful demonstration. Taking these into account, two of the first-year activities were dedicated to taking action on the evaluation methodology, which is built upon measurable and self-reported evidences of eTEACHER’s practices, and the characterization of pilot buildings’ envelope, energy systems, monitoring and control systems and building use, as well as their occupants´ behaviour. Results and evaluations have been collected in a dedicated report entitled, Demonstration and Evaluation of Behavioural Change through eTEACHER solutions (D4.1).

Finally, the functional and technical requirements for the BACS add-on services that eTEACHER encompasses have been defined. BACS add-ons are hardware (devices) and software solutions that extend the functionalities of the existing BACS or BEMS (building energy management systems), thereby empowering building occupants to achieve better energy efficiency and comfort levels. Buildings and their facilities are complex systems with a wide variety of parameters related to energy consumption and comfort. For this reason, functional and technical requirements have been aggregated as use cases to facilitate the consortium’s understanding on building energy management from a social and technical point of view (for details and results read D2.1).

The subsequent meeting in Merida will be an occasion for partners to share the results achieved so far and to plan together next year’s activities and expectations. We’ll keep you posted on this!

26 Nov 2018

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