The GEAR@SME Project Kick-off meeting was held online on 7 and 8 September with the presence of all the partners involved. The event marks the official start of the project funded by Horizon 2020 with 1.99 million euros.
The SME sector in Europe (over 25 million) has an enormous potential for reducing energy consumption. So far, however, this potential has only been partially exploited due to lack of time, capital and expertise.
To overcome this gap, the European Commission has financed the GEAR@SME project, under the leadership of TNO (the Netherlands), with the participation of Certimac and ENEA as Italian partners, together with partners from six different European countries and representatives of:
- research bodies,
- companies offering consulting services with a high technological content,
- trade associations able to act as a liaison with the world of SMEs.
The project aims to encourage and disseminate energy efficiency efforts in SMEs, through a shared approach characterized by three unique and innovative aspects:
1) The introduction of "trusted partners", whose key role is to operate as an impartial actor to foster the establishment of a relationship of mutual trust between SMEs (demand side) and energy service providers (supply side), so that SMEs can undergo energy audits and implement energy-saving measures;
2) The development of a local collective approach that allow the exchange of experiences and information based on affinity of interests and geographical proximity;
3) The introduction and use of the concept of "Multiple Benefits", i.e. the exploitation of the benefits that can be obtained from a structured approach to energy efficiency, which go beyond the simple savings in the bill.
This methodology will be applied to 4 case studies: Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Romania and will be supported by the development of a multilingual portal, where self-assessment tools, training material and best practices will be made available.
The activities will focus on four main industrial areas that together bring together about 800 SMEs: the aim is to bring at least 200 of them to commit to the effective implementation of measures to reduce consumption and improve efficiency in energy use. This would lead to potential savings of 11 GWh per year and investments of up to €4 million. Furthermore - thanks to the collaboration with trade associations (CNA and Confindustria will be involved in Italy) - it will be possible to widen the resonance of the approach developed also outside the partners directly involved in the case studies, helping to create the conditions for companies to find the right support and motivation to start energy efficiency interventions.
Certimac coordinates the activities of WP4 "Prepare training and tools to bridge the gap between demand and supply side" with the specific objective of developing a set of tools to support the implementation of the methodology. Specifically:
- Creation of a database available for SMEs containing key figures for energy efficiency measures from best practices inside and outside the consortium, integrated and translated.
- The preparation of Training Materials to support the GEAR@SME methodology to be used in local training events addressed to all those actors that - in the 4 countries involved in the case studies - will take responsibility for providing both the demand and the supply side with the necessary knowledge to start actions for the reduction of energy consumption.
- Preparation of a set of analysis and calculation tools to support the GEAR@SME methodology. These online tools will guide SMEs in understanding the potential for energy savings, cost savings and benefits of taking energy efficiency measures in their specific case.
- Creation of a database that can be consulted within the portal to support SMEs in the search for experts and suppliers suited to their needs (contractors, installers, suppliers of other assembly services, etc.).
Thanks to its many years of experience in the field of energy efficiency, Certimac will also play a central role in the coordination, development and implementation of the Italian Case Study together with the ENEA group.
Consortium: 10 Partners from the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Germany and Austria
Budget: 1,99 M €
Duration: 2020 - 2023
Funding: EU Project - H2020 topic LC-SC3-EE-8-2018-2019 ("Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: secure, clean and efficient energy")
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