INESC TEC in a project to increase the flexibility on energy performance contracting models

AmBIENCe – Active managed Buildings with Energy performaNce Contracting – is the name of one of the most recent projects of INESC TEC’s Power and Energy Systems Center (CPES) approved by the European Commission. The main goal of this project is to enhance and refine the energy performance contracting models and extend the models to Active Building Performance Contracts by embedding ICT and IoT smart solutions. AmBIENCe began in early June 2019 and will involve the work of INESC TEC researchers during 30 months.

A gap in the market was the motif for this H2020 project. “The majority of the current energy performance contracting approaches and concepts considers only the building’s ‘passive’ energy efficiency and it is applied mainly in tertiary use and public buildings. There clearly is an untapped potential to apply these practices to a wider range of buildings with enhanced capabilities in building levels and that is what we want to accomplish with this project. The AmBIENCe project not only proposes an extended dynamic EPC concept and model but also provides the business model for its implementation by valorising the flexibility in the buildings”, explains Nilufar Neyestani, a senior researcher at INESC TEC’s Centre for Power and Energy Systems.

However, what are ‘building’s passive energy efficiency’? “We use this term when we refer to buildings that are characterised by the use of static design parameters, such as level of insulation, compactness or climate areas. The idea in AmBIENCe is to move from this static status and dynamically monitor the energy performance of the buildings that are equipped with active control systems”, explains the researcher.

These contracts will  support both energy and non-energy services (security & access control, comfort & health, maintenance & building condition, trouble shooting, environmental compliance and information management), together with the possibility to enrich an inherent flexibility from the demand side.

In other words, AmBIENCe also aims at empowering and activating the consumers by providing full transparency on energy consumption and billing as well as by providing to them the flexibility and capacity to act as prosumers.

AmBIENCe is the first coordination and support action (CSA) project of CPES. The outcomes of such projects are mainly used as guidelines and frameworks for regulatory bodies and high-level stakeholders. Besides, as CPES is very active in energy efficiency related topics, this project is also an opportunity to engage in the framework, guideline, and business models of energy services.

The kick-off meeting of AmBIENCe took place in Brussels between 9 and 10 July. Seven European institutions from five countries, which are part of the consortium, participated in this meeting. The following institutions are part of AmBIENCe and will have about EUR 2 million, funded by the European Commission  to develop these solutions: VITO (Belgium), ENEA (Italy), IK4 (Spain), INESC TEC (Portugal), ENERGINVEST (Belgium), EDP CNET (Portugal), BPIE (Belgium).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 847054.


The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.

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