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Getting smarter? Europe struggling with smart energy efficiency interconnectivity

(EurActiv, 20 Mar 2024) One of the biggest obstacles to deploying energy efficiency solutions is the part of it you can’t see – the lack of data interoperability between various components. Europe is struggling to ensure smart energy efficiency is truly interconnected.

Today, Europe finds itself at an energy efficiency crossroads. There are more digital applications using household, company and transport energy more efficiently. But at the same time, the various systems are not able to communicate with appliances and utilities effectively, to make switching to smart energy simple for consumers.

There is a multitude of wifi-enabled smart thermostats on the market, but trying to install them in a home with a traditional gas boiler, and have the boiler receive and send information to the utility, can be technically problematic because they simply can’t communicate with each other.

The problem is data interoperability. For a variety of reasons, different EU countries have developed incompatible semantic systems, and different companies have been wary of sharing their data with others over competitiveness concerns. It’s something that developers and policy-makers in the EU are trying to solve.

Consumer participation

Milenko Tošić, director of innovation at VizLore Labs Foundation, said: “Lately one of the main discussion points inside the European Commission and one of the main parts of the energy sector and digitalization plan was to tackle this consumer participation in different energy-saving applications and how can they be interoperable.”

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EurActiv, 20 Mar 2024: Getting smarter? Europe struggling with smart energy efficiency interconnectivity