Buildings are more than just stand-alone units using energy from the grid. They are becoming micro energy hubs consuming, producing, storing and supplying energy more flexible than before. Buildings can even help balance the grid with demand management and could play a leading role in transforming the EU energy market, shifting from centralised, fossil-fuel based, national systems towards a decentralised, renewable, interconnected and variable system. They are becoming “all-in-one” entities that could facilitate a shift in the energy system, create “benefit-for-all” conditions and bring multiple positive outcomes, including an increased uptake of renewables and the resultant decarbonisation, energy and cost savings, as well as increased control and comfort for its occupants.
Building control companies will soon be able to extend demand response services to the residential market and new market actors, such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies like Google or Apple, and Energy-utilities are starting to capture value by entering the building market with new products and services. The shift would also create an opportunity for providers of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), monitoring systems, appliances and even construction materials to adapt their products to this new technological environment.
The upcoming revisions of the Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), and the Energy Market Design consultation are a window of opportunity to mark a turning point to make smart buildings the main interactive players in the European evolving energy system and help them become the new nZEB 2.0.
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