Member States start their test phases and stakeholders are invited to engage.
At the inaugural plenary meeting of the SRI platform on 16 December 2021, the Commission and the SRI Support Team, a Consortium providing technical assistance to the Commission, gave an update on the state of play regarding the Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI). Now that the legal framework has been established the activities of the Commission and the SRI Support Team are focused on assisting Member States in testing and implementing the SRI scheme, which is seen as a key component to the green and digital transition in the building sector. The Commission has set up the SRI Platform to provide a forum for the exchange of views on technical, regulatory and implementation aspects with civil society. Additionally, Working Groups are set-up for a limited number of persons with the relevant expertise on specific topics.
In the welcoming speech, the Commission official remarked that the Green Deal will not work without smart buildings as they would be needed for the systems integration and the integration of energy from renewable resources. The recast of the Energy Performance of Building Directive published on 15 December 2021 would promote the support of the SRI, increase the visibility of smart buildings and their benefits, extend the provisions on building automation and control systems to a greater proportion of the building stock, improve provisions on smart charging stations and address grid responsiveness. With the smart building the green and digital transition would go hand in hand in the building sector.
The SRI Support Team presented the previous SRI development work and provided a brief introduction of the SRI methodology. The aim of the SRI is to assess the building's ability to take advantage of smart technologies in terms of energy savings, comfort and energy flexibility. The indicator is based on a multicriteria analysis looking at 7 different impact criteria: energy efficiency; maintenance and fault prediction; comfort; convenience; health well-being & accessibility; information to occupants; energy flexibility and storage. The choice was made for a simple assessment scheme considering the time and cost that analysis would entail and a flexible method that would allow for further improvements and adjustments to climatic conditions. The technical work of the SRI Support Team is now switching from the development of the content to the support of the testing and implementation of the SRI.
The Commission referred to the legal framework of the SRI scheme which was published on 20 October 2020 simultaneously with the renovation wave strategy. The Delegated Regulation 2020/2155 establishes the SRI scheme and the calculation methodology, lays down an SRI certificate, requests Member States to lay down requirements on the qualification of SRI experts and a control system of the SRI scheme. The implementation of the SRI scheme is optional for Member States, but compliance is required once the SRI scheme is implemented. The Implementing Regulation 2020/2156 clarifies that the SRI certificate can only be issued by qualified or accredited experts and that the SRI inspection can be coupled with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or another inspection scheme. It lays down reporting requirements for Member States and provides them with the opportunity of having a non-committal test phase before the implementation of the SRI scheme.
The decision to launch a test phase or implement the SRI belongs to the Member States. Only where Member States decide to do so a formal SRI assessment can be conducted. Member States have to notify the Commission ahead of launching the test phase.
Private and research stakeholders not involved in official implementation or test phases are welcome to participate in discussions and to conduct informal SRI-related activities. However, no formal SRI certification can be issued without prior Member State agreement. The Commission has signed a support contract with the SRI Consortium to promote the implementation of the SRI. Amongst the tasks are the support for testing and implementation of the SRI, the setting-up of the SRI platform and awareness raising and dissemination.
The SRI Support Team informed on the work done to support testing and implementation of the SRI and the status of the testing programs.
Upon request at email@example.com, the following resources are available for EU countries and regions:
SRI assessment package containing a calculation sheet and practical guide
SRI training package
Further web resources and a SRI helpdesk have been established and can be accessed from this link.
Informal exchanges on test phase have been engaged with 10 Member States.
Amongst them – Italy, which launched a research project on how to launch the test phase. Three Member States officially launched a test phase: Austria, Denmark and France.
Austria informed that the test phase started in September 2021 and that it is expected to last for two to three years. A large variety of stakeholders form the regional and federal government, research and knowledge institutions is involved. It includes as much public buildings as possible. The Austrians consider the energy flexibility as being the most important aspect of the SRI in view of the potential of buildings to be used as energy storage, which is of central interest to energy suppliers and energy utility companies.
Denmark noted that their test phase seeks to investigate the potential and opportunities of the SRI in the Danish context. The project is led by Danish Energy Agency and involves all key stakeholders from the whole ecosystem. The test phase just started in December 2021 and is expected to be finalized by mid-2022. It will involve 25-30 old and new buildings having different energy supplies, including offices, dwellings and educational institution. The test will be conducted by the Danish Technology Institute based on the assessment package material. A proposal on how to adapt the test package to Danish context will be prepared.
France will engage in a testing phase led by the Ministry for Housing and CEREMA. France will first focus on the methodology and a large number of buildings. It will apply the methodology with only minor adaptations. France aims to bring together EPC and SRI certification in a consistent manner. The ministry is currently preparing the tools and the communication material for the testing phase. A recruitment of the buildings and training of assessors is planned beginning 2022. The national test phase will start in the second quarter 2022.
The SRI Support Team platform explained the structure and operation of the SRI Platform The key organizational groups are the SRI platform plenary meetings, the SRI Working Groups and the SRI Secretariat.
The SRI platform plenary meetings are a forum for the interaction with stakeholders on technical, regulatory and implementation aspects of the SRI. The Plenary meetings are held twice a year and are open to all stakeholders.
Three SRI Working Groups are set-up on specific topics. The operation of the Working Groups is supported by the SRI Secretariat. Membership in the Working Group is limited to a small number of experts having the relevant expertise to ensure a balanced composition and allow in-depth collaboration. At least 4 meetings or calls per year are planned. Each Working Group reports back to the SRI Secretariat. The main advisory outcomes of the Working Groups are presented in the Plenary.
The following Working Groups are established
Member State SRI test phase (open only to Member State representatives)
Maintenance & potential extension of the SRI calculation methodology (open amongst other to equipment manufacturers and installers and their professional organizations, and facility managers):
Process for updating the scoring, the weighting and the services catalogues, e. g. when new smart services become available
Streamlining a common EU approach and defining a process for keeping the SRI catalogues and scoring matrices up to date
SRI value proposition and supporting measures (open amongst other to equipment manufacturers and installers and their professional organizations, and facility managers)
Clarification and communication of the SRI’s value proposition
Supporting SRI assessment
Professional training and capacity building
Consideration of needs for a common assessment tool
SRI needs within the Single Market
Potential linkages SRI and other initiatives
Applications to join the Working Groups of the SRI Platform are open until 31 January 2022.
The SRI Support Team informed participants that information on new technological developments and potential evolutions on data driven methodologies for the SRI is part of the Horizon 2020 project Smartbuilt4EU.