EU develops online platform to bolster city energy efficiency


The platform can be utilised by city planners, industry and energy stakeholders, and assesses and maps buildings’ energy behaviour, and can also remotely control public street lighting.

The SUNSHINE project delivers digital services, interoperable with existing geographic web-service infrastructures, supporting improves energy efficiency at urban and building level.

According to the EU’s website, building and energy managers are a key target user group of the SUNSHINE Project and represent the individuals in charge of the energy management of the buildings or urban islands, having access to the heating/cooling system controls.

Several pilots have taken place in Italy, Greece, Malta and Croatia.

In Ferrara, Italy, approximately €2 million was saved in energy certification costs for 10,000 buildings. Total savings achieved equated to around €450 per year in public buildings, such as schools.

Another pilot in Rovereto, Italy, energy use was cut by 19-21% in two pilot projects, while in Bassano, Italy, €74 was saved per street light per year – a cut of more than 50% in energy consumption.

In Zagreb, Croatia, the project achieved estimated savings of 10-30%, and in Trentino, Italy, the city’s annual electricity bill saw savings of around 7-10%.

Energy efficiency through digital platforms

[quote] The SUNSHINE Project online platform was developed to operate on multiple scales: the city scale by mapping the entire cityscape, the building scale by creating awareness of a building’s overall energy behaviour, and on a public street lighting scale that saw the smart automation of public street lighting networks.

Data gathered based on public services, ‘ecomaps’ were created that are used to outline current energy consumption of of an urban environment, before using them to assess the area’s real energy needs. The platform can also be used to plan for an efficient use of heating and cooling systems within buildings, using localised weather data.

In addition, the platform allows for the interoperable control of street lighting systems based on automatic meter reading facilities.

Project partners part of the SUNSHINE Project consortium aim to intensify training programmes for relevant stakeholders, including public officials and urban planners.

In the longer term, they plan to refine the SUNSHINE platform further, and advise more cities across Europe on how the platform can be beneficially tailored to their needs.