WIT Press

Concluding remarks from the implementation of smart low-energy districts in the GrowSmarter project


Free (open access)


Volume 3 (2020), Issue 2



Page Range

112 - 119

Paper DOI



© 2020 WIT Press, www.witpress.com


Alaia Sola, Manel Sanmarti & Cristinia Corchero


As large consumers of energy, cities offer the opportunity for significant energy savings in relation to the implementation of energy-efficiency measures. In this context, the cities of Barcelona, Cologne and Stockholm, together with a diverse group of stakeholders from public and private sectors, joined to create the GrowSmarter project. GrowSmarter seeks to demonstrate and stimulate the uptake of Smart Solutions in energy, infrastructure and transport, to provide other cities with insights and create a ready market to support the transition to a sustainable Europe. With the objective of promoting and developing low-energy districts, a set of solutions were tested aiming to reduce their environmental impact. These are classified in three blocks: building energy retrofitting, energy consumption visualization platforms and local energy generation with smart management. All these actions have been technically and economically evaluated in GrowSmarter, and the results are presented in this article. The project has analysed different impacts of active and passive retrofitting measures in building energy performances and the feasibility of the proposed business models behind them. Energy visualization platforms have proven to be a promising tool to engage end users, but there is still work to do to define successful business models. The assessment of the deployment of local energy generation units shows that the corresponding regulation differs to a significant extent among countries. A clear and harmonized regulation according to the current state of technology is required in order to fully deploy distributed energy resources at commercial level. Finally, besides guaranteeing the correct implementation and operation of energy-efficiency measures, communication and information campaigns are key to build trust and ensure user acceptance. Working on building users’ awareness and acceptance has proven to be a must in order to succeed in making low-energy districts the preferred path in urban development.


smart city, energy efficiency, energy retrofitting, HEMS, local energy, low-energy districts, H2020