Support on the development of policy proposals for energy smart appliances

Policy support for a wide-scale deployment of energy-smart appliances is a complex matter, crossing the fields of product and digital-related policy instruments. Any potential measure would not directly address energy efficiency, but instead will essentially seek to certify a specific ‘energy-smart’ behaviour of products.
DG ENER and the Joint Research Centre aim to propose a Code of Conduct to the energy smart appliances manufacturers for adherence.
The design of the Code of Conduct addresses two main challenges:
•    The definition of the principles for data sharing among appliances, home & building automation systems, EV chargers, aggregators, DSOs
•    The development of Interoperability requirements for energy smart appliances
Stakeholders (industry, NGOs, academia) and Member States authorities will be involved in this process Involvement and communication with stakeholders will be undertaken in a combination of questionnaires, webinars and physical meetings. The coordination of stakeholders will be carried out jointly by DG ENER and the JRC. Please register here to follow the developments of the project and be part of the co-design of the Code of Conduct or contact us via email JRC-ENERGY-SMART-APPLIANCES@ec.europa.eu

A dedicated EC services Task Force will be set up to coordinate this action and coordination between different policy areas, ensuring broader political buy-in.

Under the ecodesign & energy labelling framework, some preparatory work for addressing energy-smart appliances has been completed. The preparatory study[1] established the scope for further work (i.e. selected product categories with the highest potential for demand response), validated the economic benefits that can be achieved by a large scale deployment of energy-smart appliances, and proposed some generic technical requirements for those. As a general approach, the study proposed a non-mandatory measure (i.e. to help differentiate on the market the energy-smart appliances and ensure their full interoperability, but not to ban ‘non-smart’ products from the market). However, the study’s conclusion is that more work is needed in order to come up with a regulatory proposal.

The main issue identified is regulating in a way that would ensure full interoperability among different products from various manufacturers. This would require compliance with a multitude of standards, some of them not yet (fully) developed. In addition, any such regulation would heavily rely on these standards (references to which might need to be included in the regulatory text), while the standards themselves are in a very rapid evolution (much faster than the regulatory cycles).

Thus, while regulation seems inappropriate, rapid technological developments could also lead to the consolidation of different product ecosystems, which will use proprietary solutions and will inherently be incompatible (i.e. not interoperable) with each other. Therefore, action could be taken by the European Commission for securing coherent development on the market, adherence of industry to open standards, and promotion of SAREF as a general ontology[2] underpinning product interoperability.

 

The work should build on the activities of the newly started InterConnect project, funded under Horizon 2020. Many relevant stakeholders are project partners, and the project itself intends to demonstrate (and develop/extend) the use of SAREF for ensuring interoperability for demand side flexibility. Thus, a natural continuation would consist of: i) developing the CoC, and ii) ensuring the adherence of a sufficient number of signatories, with enough market coverage in their fields.

Stakeholders (industry, NGOs, academia) and Member States authorities will be involved in the process at different stages do discuss draft documents and proposals. Involvement and communication with stakeholders will be undertaken in a combination of questionnaires, webinars and physical meetings (to the extent possible in light of the COVID pandemic). The coordination of stakeholders will be carried out jointly by DG ENER and the JRC.

The JRC will complete and extend the work done, over a time of 24 months along the following issues and milestones:

1.      Creation of project website.

2.      Literature review and consolidation of input from relevant sources on the interoperability of energy smart appliances such as the InterConnect project[3], standardisation efforts in other countries or regions (i.e. UK, California, etc.).

3.      Development of use cases for energy smart appliances.

4.      Defining the principles for data sharing among appliances, home & building automation systems, EV chargers, aggregators, DSOs in collaboration with….

5.      Development of interoperability requirements for energy-smart appliances; in collaboration with external parties, such as manufacturers, etc.

6.      Setting up a CoC; drafting the CoC, consulting the stakeholders and attracting signatories

7.      Setting up methodology/laboratory procedures for the certification/conformity purposes of energy smart appliances.

JRC will support the discussions and decisions of the Task Force with analysis and research, resulting in input documents for each of issues above, which need to be made available to the Task Force at least 4 weeks in advance of the respective discussion/meeting, and after having been checked by DG ENER. Format and structure will be agreed with DG ENER as well.

If appropriate and in agreement with DG ENER, particular elements of the issues (6) and/or (7) above will be outsourced to external consultants with specific expertise in this area.

 


[1] https://circabc.europa.eu/

[2] “Ontology = formal specification of a conceptualization, used to explicitly capture the semantics of a certain reality” (definition from the ETSI SAREF technical specification TS 103 264). In other words and ontology provides a general vocabulary that explains the data which is being exchanged and makes it comprehensible for different communication technologies that are ‘SAREF compliant’. SAREF4ENER extension was developed specifically to enable the (currently missing) interoperability among various proprietary solutions developed by different consortia in the smart home domain.

      More info at https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/digitalising-energy-sector-common-language-consumer-centric-world

[3] https://interconnectproject.eu/

 

Deliverables Deadline/Timeline
Start of project T0
Kick-off meeting T0+3 weeks 
Project website T0+ 6 weeks
Reports of issues 2 to 4 T0+ 5 months
Report of issue 5 T0+ 14 months
Report of issue 6 T0+ 16 months
Report of issue 7 T0+ 19 months
Final report T0+ 21 months

* T0= mid August 2021

To register, please use this form. 
Otherwise, please contact us via email JRC-ENERGY-SMART-APPLIANCES@ec.europa.eu