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How can ICT contribute to social housing energy performance?

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The “Resource Efficient Europe” initiative within the Europe 2020 strategy provides a long-term framework which responds to the challenge of resource scarcity. It aims to maintain economic competitiveness including among others, the use of renewable energy sources and promoting energy efficiency. Under this window of opportunity, the European project BECA (Balanced European Conservation Approach) ICT services for resource savings in social housing, aims to help Europe meet emission targets by achieving a significant reduction of resource consumption in European social housing. In short, the project approach is to:

  • Develop advanced ICT-based services, empowering tenants to control their resource consumption by providing awareness to tenants of their resource consumption with the use of in-home displays, alerts, SMS, internet portals.


  • Installation of ICT-based applications for an efficient management of resource consumption information. Social housing providers and its technical staff will be able to monitor and control resource distribution and supply.

BECA already started in January 2011 and has a three-year duration. The project’s consortium is led by social housing providers and public authorities, including global ICT and service providers, distribution network operators and R&D institutes. The project is supported financially by the European Union under the ICT Policy Support Program (PSP), with a total budget of 5.55 ME.

The project addresses energy (electricity, gas and heating) and water resources, including strong activities in Western Europe as well as in the North, South and West of the European Union. It gathers 18 partners around 7 European Member States (Czech Republic, Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Sweden, Italy and Germany), with 7 pilot sites located in each participating country.

Technologies to be implemented in BECA pilot sites includes digital meters for all energy flows and water, in-building gateways, networks and interfaces, in-home displays, internet portals, standard PLC and mobile networks, simple PCs, interfaces to landlord ERP.

The project will reach more than 5000 tenants of the pilot buildings, having access to ICT-based energy and water efficiency services, expecting 20% resource consumption reduction in pilot sites.

Moreover, BECA Resource Use Awareness and Resource Management Services specifications will be ready to be disseminated throughout the European Social Housing sector together with a wider deployment and use of mature ICT-based technologies at European level.

Experience gained in the BECA project will help to identify further solutions to encourage energy savings in the European social housing sector by the use of ICT-based solutions. Beyond the transition to “smart grids”, these technologies can also support the development of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) by verifying and monitoring the energy and water efficiency of buildings and reducing the operating costs and environmental impacts of social housing projects.

The challenge is to identify the economic and technically feasible measures and technologies to monitor and measure the building’s energy performance.

More information of the project on: