Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Engaging private consumers towards sustainable energy

Topic identifier: EE-06-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
15 March 2016
Deadline: 15 September 2016 17:00:00

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
19 January 2017
Deadline: 07 June 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 24 May 2017 18:09

    Description of projects launched under the H2020 EE Call 2016 are now available in the H2020 Energy Efficiency Data Hub:!vM67rD

  • 27 July 2016 10:44

    Work Programme 2016-17 Revision (European Commission Decision C(2016)4614 of 25 July 2016)


    Call 2017: The single budget line for topic EE-06-2017: Engaging private consumers towards sustainable energy has been increased to 5.0 EUR million.


  • 17 March 2016 13:37

    H2020 2016-17 Work Programme update (European Commission Decision C(2016)1349 of 9 March 2016)

    The section "Scope" in the topic description has been updated; there is an addition at the end of the descriptive part "In addition the proposed actions, when relevant, should include policy lessons from the action to contribute to policy development".

    In the section "Scope", the bullet point "Distilling policy lessons from the market insight gathered as a means to review existing, and produce better, legislation" has been removed. In the fifth bullet point, the sentence "ensuring high performance in the areas important to health and wellbeing at the same level of effectiveness" has been replaced with the sentence "without compromising comfort levels".

  • 10 November 2015 16:11

    Be among the 500 participants coming from SMEs, associations, businesses, European and national trade associations, chambers of commerce and European institutions expected at the event on 8th December 2015. How to apply for funding? What are the Energy Efficiency priorities of the H2020 2016 call for proposals deadline 15 September 2016? If you are asking these questions or if you want to network and raise questions to the EASME team during the dedicated information sessions, please register for the Info Day. If you can't make it to Brussels the event will be live web streamed.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Consumers should be considered at the heart of the energy system and become active market players. The future private consumer should be more aware, active, energy sufficient, as well as being a prosumer producing energy for their own consumption, where this is possible. Furthermore, in view of the fluctuation in energy prices, consumers are spending an increasing share of their income on energy, with estimates stating that more than 50 million Europeans are affected by energy poverty[1]. Energy efficiency, energy savings and increased use of locally produced, including own produced, renewable energy are key tools in addressing fuel poverty.

In this context, engagement actions are needed across Europe in order to achieve behavioural change towards more sustainable choices and decisions for energy. This includes increasing and understanding consumer 'apetite' for higher efficiency products.

Although awareness on the benefits of collective consumer action in the field of EE and RES has increased in past years, such action is still hampered by a number of barriers, including financial and regulatory barriers and inconsistencies in grid integration practice. In addition, insufficient use of relevant ICT solutions and insufficient understanding of energy bills contribute to hampering the achievement of a more sustainable energy system.


Develop and roll out tailored and effective and innovative engagement actions to motivate changes in consumers' sustainable energy behaviour that would result in reduced energy consumption in buildings, heating/cooling systems and/or appliances. The proposed actions should focus on clearly defined target groups of private consumers (individuals or collectives), using market segmentation[2]. The proposed actions should demonstrate an understanding of different types of behaviours and consider the different approaches needed to influence them. The actions should also address the risk of "rebound effects", propose measures to counteract them, and apply current theory and practice on consumer decision making processes (e.g. effects of new technologies on energy behaviour). All relevant stakeholders necessary for the successful implementation of the action should be involved and it is expected that relevant consumer organisations, in particular, are either directly involved or their support is clearly demonstrated in the proposal. Where relevant for the proposed action, gender issues should be taken into account, in particular the role gender characteristics may play in influencing consumer behaviour. Actions should preferably cover a wide geographic area through complementary actions covering various parts of the EU. In addition the proposed actions, when relevant, should include policy lessons from the action to contribute to policy development.

The proposed action should cover one or more of the following:

  • Empower and facilitate actions for consumers to become prosumers, or to form collective consumer groups/consumer cooperatives (addressing energy efficiency and/or renewable energy, and energy storage, where applicable, with a focus on action).
  • Support clearly defined groups of vulnerable consumers in tackling fuel poverty by facilitating more sustainable energy behaviour and choices in their everyday life, without compromising comfort levels. This should also aim at achieving structural changes of national policies to specifically address fuel poverty and could include the transfer of best practices for the active engagement of vulnerable consumers.
  • Facilitate wider deployment and consumer adoption of existing ICT-based solutions, for energy efficiency and information on energy consumption and costs, with a focus on action and resulting in improved understanding of ICT interfaces and information depiction (including smart metering and related systems).
  • Facilitate consumer understanding of energy bills (on and off line), leading to actions allowing for a reduction in energy consumption. Such actions should ensure robust monitoring to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach proposed,
  • Create better instruments for improving consumer understanding and routing purchase decisions towards higher efficiency products, without compromising comfort levels, and with no additional relevant environmental impacts,

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposed actions are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below (wherever possible, use quantified indicators and targets), depending on the scope of the proposal:

  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project within its duration (in GWh/year per million Euro of EU funding);
  • Number of people changing their behaviour and taking informed decisions, documenting why and how changes are an effect of particular measures taken, as well in terms of the sustainability of the behavioural change;
  • Number of consumers engaged by actions aiming at improving consumer understanding and routing purchase decisions towards higher efficiency products;
  • Renewable Energy production and Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project within its duration (for actions on prosumers/consumers groups, respectively in GWh/year and million Euro of investments per million Euro of EU funding);
  • Policies and strategies created/adapted to include fuel poverty (for actions on fuel poverty), to be measured in number of citations / statements from governance bodies.
Cross-cutting Priorities:


[1]EESC (2013/C/341/05) referring to the European Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency project, 2009

[2]Market segmentation: this involves dividing a bigger target group into subgroups of consumers with common needs and priorities, and developing and implementing specific actions to target them. As an example, vulnerable consumers may be considered too wide a target group and further segmentation would be expected.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. The following exceptions apply, taking into account the nature of the activity and with the objective to maximize the European Added Value and European market uptake through transnational collaboration*. The following additional eligibility criteria apply:
    1. at least three legal entities shall participate in an action;
    2. each of the three legal entities shall be established in a different Member State or Associated Country
    3. all three legal entities shall be independent of each other within the meaning of Article 8 of the Rules for Participation.
    * Transition towards Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy and the Energy Union project are cross-national policy initiatives and priorities aiming at trans-national solutions.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (call specific templates must be downloaded from the electronic submission system)
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

    Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    - Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    - Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

  8. Additional documents:

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Secure, clean and efficient energy
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme 
Additional documents

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