Toward Energy Positive Neighbourhoods: European Research Project RESPOND Kicks Off in Brussels

Toward Energy Positive Neighbourhoods: European Research Project RESPOND Kicks Off in Brussels
20/02/2018 exd-admin
In Press release

BRUSSELS – 31 October, 2017

From 18-19 October 2017, the first official kick-off meeting was held in Brussels to launch the EU-funded project RESPOND: Integrated Demand Response Solution Towards Energy Positive Neighbourhoods. RESPOND aims to deliver a cost effective, cooperative demand response solution to different types of residential communities in order to boost their energy savings potential.

Demand Response: The Next Frontier in Energy Innovation

The term demand response (DR) refers to any initiative that offers electricity consumers the opportunity to intentionally shift their energy consumption either in response to price signals caused by peak demand or in exchange for an agreed-upon incentive. DR programmes, when combined with local renewable energy production and storage options, can significantly reduce peak demand, resulting in energy and cost savings for stakeholders throughout the energy supply chain.

While demand response schemes have been widely implemented in the industrial sector where energy demand is typically higher, such solutions in the residential sector are still in their infancy, despite a huge untapped potential for better operational management, behaviour change and savings.

To exploit this untapped potential, the RESPOND project aims to integrate the benefits of flexibility with targeted load control actions, renewable energy sources and energy storage options with the aim of adapting user behaviour to better match energy supply and demand to the satisfaction of both end consumers and energy providers.

The RESPOND Consortium

To achieve these ambitious objectives, the project will be carried out by an interdisciplinary consortium committed to deliver EU-based capabilities, technologies and tools to the benefit of energy providers and consumers under the umbrella of demand response. The consortium led by Fenie Energia, a leading energy retailer created by the Spanish National Federation of Electrical and Telecommunications Installers (FENIE).

The project consortium consists of 11 partners from 5 countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Serbia and Spain. The consortium reflects a healthy balance of energy providers and technology suppliers on one side, with public research and academics on the other.

Project RESPOND will be rolled out over the next three years in three distinct pilot sites covering different climatic and socio-economic regions across Europe: a cooperative community on the Aran Islands in Ireland, a social housing complex in Aarhus, Denmark, and a private residential apartment building in Madrid.

Nearly a year after the initial submission of the winning RESPOND proposal, which resulted in a successful project funding of 3 million EUR,  the kick-off meeting presented the ideal opportunity for the project partners to meet and review project objectives and work plans, with a short overview of each project activity planned for Phase 1. As the official coordinating partner of the consortium, Fenie Energia invited all project partners to meet face-to-face over a two-day period in Brussels.

Day 1 Highlights

The highlight of the Day 1 meeting was a visit from the Project Officer and Financial Officer, who introduced the H2020 and EASME strategies. Following the visit, the first work package was introduced with an overview of the 3 pilots as well as a brainstorming session led by Project Coordinator Fenie Energia.

The meeting was followed by a delightful dinner in the city center of Brussels.

Highlights from Day 2

Day 2 was focused on partner presentations of relevant work packages, with follow-up discussions led by Project Coordinator Fenie Energia. Each session was dedicated to describing relevant work package objectives, participating partners, prioritised activities, and next steps.

The next face-to-face meeting of the RESPOND project is scheduled to take place in January 2018 at one of the project pilot sites.


RESPOND aims to deploy and demonstrate an interoperable, cost effective and user-centered solution that leverages energy automation, control and monitoring in order to seamlessly integrate demand response into legacy energy management systems. RESPOND will take both supply and demand into account as it performs real-time energy dispatching, and exploit all possible energy assets available at a site. RESPOND will target different types of residential buildings in 3 pilot locations: a rural community on the Aran Islands in Ireland, a social housing complex in Aarhus, Denmark, and a residential apartment building in Madrid.