The active role of buildings in a transforming energy market

In a complex energy system, energy efficiency and innovative technologies such as demand response, storage and advanced renewable installations play a crucial role in accelerating the transformation of our homes from simple energy consumers into much more active players.

cover The active role of buildingsBuildings, as the largest energy demand side actor, could take a key role in tackling the energy market’s challenges, but this role is insufficiently explored.

Enabling measures can help tackle this, they include:

  • At the political level, a comprehensive vision on the integration of demand response, renewable energy production and storage;
  • The availability of time-of-use tariffs for industrial, commercial and residential consumer;
  • Smart and user-adapted metering and control systems;
  • Aggregators supporting the different consumer groups.

This paper describes the role of the sector, presents strategies and enabling measures to speed up the interaction between the energy and building sector. The paper argues for a comprehensive vision for the integration of demand response, renewable energy production and storage in buildings and calls for a stronger policy focus on the topic. It comes at a time when the key EU buildings-linked legislation are revised, providing a window of opportunity to address the building’s role in the energy market.

Energy efficiency and buildings’ interaction with the energy market are crucial to meet future energy needs with the least necessary supply and transmission capacity. It has to be open to all kind of consumers, including households facing increasing energy bills, commercial businesses and industrial players that need to compete with companies from countries with lower energy costs.

The technologies to make buildings active players in the energy market already exist.

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