“THE4BEES” (Transnational Holistic Ecosystem 4 Better Energy Efficiency through Social innovation)

The Interreg Alpine Space project “”THE4BEES”” (Transnational Holistic Ecosystem 4 Better Energy Efficiency through Social innovation) is now slowly approaching its end: The final event of this 3-year project took place on 22 and 23 October in Turin.

The project started with the hypothesis that “energy is consumed by people, not by buildings”. For this reason, the focus of this 14-partner project was on behavioural changes of users of public buildings in several European countries.

To stimulate these behavioural changes, a combination of a “user first” approach with digital solutions was used to communicate behaviour visually and interactively. Users were motivated to change their individual behaviour and were able to contribute directly to the project through interactive co-creation labs and workshops. The digital solutions included sensor measurements that could trigger an “energy alarm” and allowed for settings, comparisons between rooms, times and test buildings, and various analyses.

The results were used to formulate recommendations for users, companies and politicians and to demonstrate the value of “energy and comfort as a service”. This was achieved by a combination of different principles such as feedback to users, comparisons with others, tips and hints and storytelling.

During the project many new insights were gained, but we would like to highlight the following four in particular:

  • The perception and involvement in energy saving of all people is almost as important as the monitoring of the buildings
  • Digital solutions designed by and for users contribute to energy and CO2 savings, as well as to comfort and improved health.
  • Behavioural change among users is a central element of sustainable energy management in buildings
  • Data visualization can stimulate behavioral changes

The final project results will be published online by 25 December 2018, the official end of the project. However, the end of the project should not be the end of this approach, but rather a step towards a more energy-conscious future!