Installation of ICT technologies in social housing

Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Population: 1,006,600 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Oceanic

Duration: 2010-2013

Sector: Cross-cutting

Funding sources: Public-private

City Networks: Covenant of Mayors, ICLEI, UK100

Savings: Energy consumption reduced by 20%.

Solutions: Installation of 100 stand-alone home energy systems.

Multiple benefits: Electricity bills reduced and increased citizens’ knowledge on energy efficiency.

3e-HOUSES project deals with the integration of the most established ICT technologies in social housing in order to provide an innovative service for energy efficiency. The project took place in two pilot cities – Sant Cugat del Vallès (Spain) and Leipzig (Germany) and was replicated in Bristol (UK) and Langenfeld (Germany).

Objective – To install ICT technologies in social housing to achieve energy savings, shift energy consumption from peak hours and off-peak hours, and reduce CO2 emissions.

Solutions – During the project covered 100 homes, in which the equipment for monitoring electricity and gas use with the data sent through a wireless router was installed, through stand-alone home energy systems. Participants were provided with the tablets, so they could view their electricity and gas usage online every hour through a visual website. They could also monitor up to five home appliances and track the use of energy. A number of tenants who did not have internet access were also provided with the free internet for a year so they could take part in the project [source]. Several trainings were organised by Knowle West Media Centre to show the participants how to use the tablets and website and to give them energy-saving tips [source].

Funding – Setting up the project in four cities required approximately EUR 4 Mln (USD 4.8 Mln*) in investments, of which 50% has been sustained by the EU funds and 50% through the consortium’s own resources. The EU funding came through Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme.

Innovation – The project included the development of methodologies to separately assess the measures for energy efficiency and their impacts to the tenants in the buildings. Moreover, the replication-scheme of the pilot project in Sant Cugat del Vallès and Leipzig allowed for scaling up the technical solutions in multiple countries. This resulted in a successful scheme for installing energy efficiency appliances in social housing buildings across Europe.

Success factors – Provision of the tablets with an easy-to-use interface was a successful way to encourage participants to monitor their energy consumption and change their patterns of energy use.  The project has made an effort to raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency by providing ongoing support through visits, calls, workshops and by providing updates through the newspapers.

Significant outcomes:

  • Energy consumption reduced by 20% in social buildings;
  • Electricity use reduced by 5%, as result of the project;
  • Gas use for heating reduced by 27% as result of the project;
  • Knowledge about energy consumption of the users increased, therefore they changed their patterns of energy use;
  • Energy bills significantly reduced.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Bristol Energy and Environment Plan  examines policies required to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of energy use in the city of Bristol;
  • Our Resilient Future: A Framework for Climate and Energy Security defines the strategy and action plan for improving the resilience of the City of Bristol in addressing the threat of climate change through the sustainable use and generation of energy. Sets a goal of 40% CO2 emission reduction by 2020 (2005 baseline).

Political alignment: 


  • One of the specific objectives of the project was its dissemination and promotion in order to raise awareness and facilitate replication;
  • The same solutions were applied in three other pilot cities – Sant Cugat del Vallès (Spain), Leipzig (Germany) and in Langenfeld (Germany).

*The conversion rate used is EUR 1 = USD 1.2

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Sectors: Buildings, Digital

Country / Region: Europe, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: 3e-Houses