SUNSHINE – “Smart UrbaNServIces for Higher eNergy Efficiency” delivers innovative digital services, interoperable with existing geographic web-service infrastructures, supporting improved energy efficiency at the urban and building level. Specifically, SUNSHINE delivers a smart service platform accessible from both a web-based client and an App for smartphones and tablets. In particular, the SUNSHINE platform will allow:
The SUNSHINE technology will be the result of the customisation and integration of existing software components developed by other EC-funded projects focusing on smart-city technologies, including BRISEIDE, i-SCOPE and i-Tour.
SUNSHINE will be piloted for the duration of 12 months, in the context of 8 sites across 4 countries, and will aim at energy and emission savings ranging, within the various pilots, from 10% to 30%, with higher savings being foreseen for pilots relying on older buildings, or equipped with older heating, cooling or lighting technologies. Energy savings will be compared to a one-year baseline data acquired, during the first stages of the project prior to the deployment of the pilots.
Buildings account for approximately 40% of the whole final energy consumption within European communities (European Commission, 2010). Within this sector, energy is mainly consumed at household level: in 2009, European households were responsible for 68% of total energy used in buildings, mainly for space heating (almost 70%), domestic hot water (14%), lighting and electrical appliances (13%) and cooking (4%).
With a share of more than two thirds of the average energy consumed per residential unit, inefficient heating and cooling systems can cause a long-term negative impact on the general welfare of European communities through extraneous use of nonrenewable resources, heating-related pollution and considerable financial loss. Beside higher energy bills, associated externalities reflect the environmental and human health damages arising from energy use: Climate change damage costs associated with CO2 and other GHG emissions, impacts on health, agriculture and many more. Through an innovative approach, the SUNSHINE project takes an active stand against these issues.
The most cost-effective way of meeting climate change targets is through improved energy efficiency. Therefore, better use of buildings (and subsequently their improved energy performance) represents the main focus of the Smart UrbaN ServIces for Higher eNergy Efficiency (SUNSHINE) project.
Through its developed methodology, the buildings will be viewed as dynamic sources of information (the use and internal equipment of the building will allow change over time) in order to ensure maximum adaptability and sustainability of the solution, in light of the ongoing European-scale transformations in energy efficiency. Together with a second key focus point of the project, which is efficiency of public lighting, building energy consumption is indeed one of the main CO2 emission source to be considered by Municipalities and other Public Authorities aiming to reduce the overall amount of energy needed at urban level.