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Article RSE 15010260

With the S3C project, the role of end user in the electro-energy system becomes “intelligent

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Nuova Energia ISSN 2036-8380, vol. 6, pp. 50-55, Giugno-2015.

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S. Maggiore (RSE SpA)

S3C - Smart Consumer - Smart Customer – Smart Citizen

The goal of this article is to present the results of the European research project S3C (Smart consumer - Smart customer - Smart citizen) which addresses the challenges related to the active involvement and participation of European end users within the smart grids.

This article is based on the assumption that besides technical innovations, a key aspect of meeting future energy challenges is to integrate end users through a more active position in the power system. However, a coherent view on end user engagement and effects derived from electricity consumption behaviour is still lacking. The paper aims at exploring end users’ active participation in various European smart grid pilots by applying a newly developed conceptual framework.

The purpose of the paper is to contribute to understanding what key success factors and barriers that exist for end user engagement in smart grids. To do this, a staged research methodology was applied: results and experiences were collected from 32 existing smart grid pilots followed by a multi-level analysis to identify best practices, success factors and pitfalls.

Seven areas and actions characterizing successful implementation of pilots were identified, including understanding the target group, testing before roll-out, creating personal relations etc. The key barriers include technical problems, expectations, non-viable business cases and shared decision power. The main conclusions are that the end user is not a black box, and that context-sensitivity is crucial to succeed in end user engagement.

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