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Full articles out of AIE E-Newsletter 2nd edition 2017 > PDF-version

AIE strongly advocates an ambitious EU Energy policy together with EU Industry stakeholders

Source: AIE Secretariat

Common vision on EPBDThe Coalition Letter: Let's not miss the full potential of a strong EPBD! On Tuesday 6th of June, 15 industry associations amongst which the AIE.

Together they addressed an open letter to members of the European Parliament and officials in the EU Member States in which they support the recently proposed recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) by the European Commission but equally strongly advocate that an ambitious EU Energy policy will be beneficial to EU Member States and could be a growth and jobs drivers if it is done the right way.

The Coalition of industry associations therefore urge EU Members States and the European Parliament to support an ambitious revision of the EPBD and to strengthen key elements of the Commission’s proposal. They call the EU institutions to address the following points:

1) Accelerate the energy renovation of the existing building stock, considering the different building types (residential, non-residential and public buildings) by promoting tailor-made and technology-neutral incentive schemes (e.g. financing, deployment of smart technologies, national milestones for renovation strategies).

2) Foster the deployment of Building Automation and Control (BAC) systems, in non-residential and larger residential buildings, in order to ensure proper maintenance and improve efficiency.

3) Promote the new smartness indicator of buildings to support consumer empowerment and the development of buildings as part of the energy system.

4) Go beyond energy savings provisions and adopt a holistic view, by enabling a proper framework for the deployment of infrastructures (i.e. on-site renewable generation, smart metering, demand-side flexibility and electro-mobility) that will facilitate the buildings’ integration into a wider energy ‘eco-system’ (e.g. smart grid & micro-grid, sector connection between electricity and thermal energy).

> Action: The coalition letter is available on AIE’s website.

02_01 KNX is the leading communication protocol in the European and Chinese Smart homes/Light commercial market.

AIE Infoflash: KNX is the leading communication protocol in the European and Chinese Smart homes/Light commercial market

In January 2017, BSRIA - a test, instruments, research and consultancy organisation in construction and building services - presented their latest study on the Smart Home/Light Commercial market.

The study, which consists of individual country reports on China, France, Germany, Netherlands, North America and UK, is forecasting a total global growth of 20 per cent in the Smart Home/Light Commercial market in 2017, with the largest growth being predicted for the UK market with a growth rate of 29 per cent. The study segments the market into stand-alone products and whole home products and also analyses the value of system integration (value add) and service and maintenance.

The study is also forecasting rapid growthin sales of both products and system integration, but due to the infancy of the market, a lower level of sales for service and maintenance. The reports show that the largest individual vertical sector is luxury villas accounting for 25 per cent of the market value; the second and third largest segments, offices and hotels respectively, represent a combined total of 23 per cent of the market.

In the UK, the whole home solutions market is not dominated by any one communication protocol. All protocols have their own strengths and weaknesses, and many installations will incorporate more than one protocol, where in Germany, the whole home solutions market is heavily dominated by KNX (with a share of 56 per cent).

KNX remains the most popular of the non-proprietary protocols in France with 32 per cent of the market. It is a long established communication protocol in this country, but it should be pointed out that proprietary protocols are also very strong in France. Proprietary protocols may have the advantage of not adding additional costs to the devices and give the biggest freedom to the manufacturer: however, they seriously complicate the integration with other systems. The industry has not found a consensus on the open standard yet and the convergence issue is still a threat to the progression of the smart market. Proprietary protocols (15 per cent) are well represented in the Netherlands, but KNX has a market share of 34 per cent in whole-home smart home systems, thus becoming the standard for home and building control in the Netherlands.

A large number of protocols are used in wireless products in China, however, mostly for stand-alone smart products/subsystems, including Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi’s disadvantage is, however, that it consumes more energy, and devices working through Wi-Fi can slow down internet connectivity at home.

Click here to view the individual infographics for France, Germany, The Netherlands, UK and China. Download the original press release here.
Extract source: Press Release BSRIA –
For more information please contact:

Electric Charging Stations Needed  

Electric Charging Stations neededInstalling more charging infrastructure will be key to allow the faster deployment of electric cars, said Magnus Hall, the CEO of Vattenfall. The Swedish energy company has already installed 6,000 charging points across the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, and “we are prepared to put much more money in infrastructure.” The Vattenfall boss sees the next five to ten years as a tipping point in the transportation sector.

What’s the problem?

“People hesitate now to buy electric vehicles because they don’t know if they can charge them if they live in an apartment building,” Magnus said. He added that a lot of the new stations to be set up in the next years will serve the role of “destination charges,” referring to the growing need of people to re-charge their cars when they arrive at home or at work, for example. That’s why it is important to ensure that the Commission’s current proposals on charging stations remain in the directive dealing with the energy performance of buildings, said Kristian Ruby, the secretary-general of Eurelectric. Statement fully supported by AIE.

The Commission proposed countries to make sure that all new non-residential buildings and all existing non-residential buildings that are undergoing major renovation equip at least one in every 10 parking spaces with a recharging point by 2025. New residential buildings should include pre-cabling to enable the installation of these recharging points, according to the Commission’s proposal. However, several EU countries are worried about the cost. At this stage, several amendments are on the table…

AIE very much welcomes a future looking view of the Commission to go beyond energy savings provisions and also have a holistic view of the building, integrating the building into a wider ‘eco-system’ (smart grid & micro-grid) by enabling a proper framework for the deployment of e-mobility infrastructure which will be an integral part of tomorrow’s society.

We strongly support the obligation to include the pre-cabling / pre-tubing with sufficient capacity (!) to allow increasing power needs that will enable the installation of a recharge infrastructure in all new residential buildings and those undergoing major renovation in line with the deployment of the EV market in each Member State. Installing tubes/cables when constructing the building or when renovating it makes the operation much cheaper for the end-consumer while recharging points in those big residential building will always be needed. However if the capacity is not sufficient, a second more expensive investment at the time of installing the charging points, will be needed.

Smart Buildings Decoded: the concept beyond the buzzword.

BPIE's report Smart Buildings DecodedIn BPIE explored the concept of Smart buildings and came with an answer to the question: ‘What is a smart building?’
The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) put the finishing touches  on its  comprehensive work on smart buildings, providing a working definition of a ‘smart building’  and  making  detailed  policy  recommendations  to  encourage  their  growth.

The current negotiations on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package are a final opportunity to shape the European building stock of 2030. This latest intervention comes at a crucial point in support of those pushing for more ambitious policy and a genuinely smart European building stock of the 2030s. [Source: Extract Press Release BPIE / 02.06.17].

Measuring how smart a building is, depends on the capacity of its functions and the degree to which different components interact and complement each other. BPIE considered all these aspects and has come forward with a concrete definition of a smart building, placing energy efficiency at its heart.

BPIE definition of a smart building (2017):

A smart building is highly energy efficient and covers its very low energy demand to a large extent by on-site or district-system-driven renewable energy sources. A smart building (i) stabilises and drives a faster decarbonisation of the energy system through energy storage and demand-side flexibility; (ii) empowers its users and occupants with control over the energy flows; (iii) recognises and reacts to users' and occupants’ needs in terms of comfort, health, indoor air quality, safety as well as operational requirements.

BPIE is clear that both market and legislative frameworks need to allow buildings to connect to and interact with the energy system. But this is not always the case across Europe. In fact, the legislative framework is one of the biggest barriers to the widespread penetration of smart buildings.

For smart buildings to become a success story, multiple benefits must be recognised on an equal footing. Buildings have the potential to be at the forefront of providing flexibility for the energy system, including through energy production, control, storage and demand response, as well as providing a means to integrate electric vehicles. Just as importantly, smart buildings must enable a healthy and comfortable living and working environment for their occupants. But analysis has shown that more must be done in this area.

> Download report | Infographic | Press Release |More on BPIE & Related publications

AIE activities and networking

Common statement on PEF> 03_01 Primary Energy Conversion Factor [PEF]: AIE co-signs a common statement

AIE has co-signed a common statement calling for the revision of the Primary Energy Factor (PEF) for electricity.

Joining a group of national and European stakeholders, the AIE voiced its support for a review of the methodology for the calculation of the PEF for electricity in EU energy efficiency legislation, which better reflects the development of the European power generation mix.  The paper states that the current PEF of 2.5 is outdated and calls for the adoption of a PEF which reflects a larger gap between the factors used for fossil fuel and for renewable energy. 

> Download the common position paper.

03_02: AIE supporting partner of the Electrification Alliance and Declaration

Electrification alliance
The AIE, supporting partner of the Electrification Alliance, attended Friday 23 June the launch of the Electrification Alliance. The Alliance is calling for electricity to be recognised as the key energy carrier for an efficient and decarbonised European future and published a Declaration on Electrification (attached) supported by the AIE and a large number of other associations, companies and NGOs. The Declaration states that as electricity in Europe decarbonises, it will reveal its true value as it becomes the key vector for achieving a decarbonised, energy efficient and digital European economy.

The Declaration includes a commitment to support reductions in carbon intensity and the scale up of investment in non-emitting technologies like renewables, energy storage and smart grids, while promoting sectoral integration with the heating, cooling and transport sectors.

The Declaration on Electrification calls for reforms under the current legislative review of European climate, energy and transport legislation, to accelerate the advancement of electrification in years to come. These will maximise the potential of decarbonised electricity and enabling efficient technologies to advance Europe’s competitiveness, economic growth, job creation, and the promotion of a sustainable, healthy society for European citizens.

The Declaration calls on European policymakers to:

  • recognise that decarbonised electricity becomes a key vehicle for a sustainable European economy and to support the crucial role that decarbonised electricity and efficient electric technologies will play in the achievement of Europe’s climate and energy objectives and its commitments under the Paris Agreement;
  • to remove barriers to electrification a.o. an improved methodology for calculating the Primary Energy Factor for electricity being essential,
  • to roll-out the much needed recharging infrastructure for a rapid roll-out of e-mobility solutions and to enable the deployment of smart grid technologies, smart metering, advanced data management and demand response.

> Download the Declaration of the Electrification Alliance

03_03 AIE, AREA and GCP Europe Joint Position on inspections, indoor quality and electro mobility infrastructure in the framework of EPBD

The AIE (European Association of electrical contracting companies), AREA (European association of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors) and GCP Europe (voice of the efficient building engineering services), the 3 main European associations representing the interest of the installers agreed jointly on 3 specific elements of the proposal of utmost importance for the installation sector:

1. Making inspections mandatory with adequate associated thresholds

Welcoming the fact that the provisions on periodic inspections of heating and cooling systems are maintained in the proposal, there is no mutual exclusivity between periodic inspections and the presence of building automation and control systems. The associations therefore advocate that the current framework on building automation and control systems and periodic inspections should be kept, rather than making it possible to replace the latter by the former.

Additionally, AIE, AREA and GCP Europe are concerned by the enormous increase of the thresholds under which no periodic inspection is necessary. The current thresholds should be maintained to make them purposeful in the spirit of the EPBD Directive and a concrete time frame of 5 years for frequency of inspections should be implemented.

2. Ensuring better Indoor Environment Quality

There is a delicate balance between the drive towards energy savings with increasingly energy-efficient buildings and Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ). Therefore, mandatory inspections should include ventilation and air quality checks in order to adequately support Indoor Environment Quality aspects.

3. Enabling a proper framework for the deployment of e-mobility infrastructure

The associations strongly support the obligation to include the pre-cabling / pre-tubing with sufficient capacity to allow increasing power needs that will enable the installation of a recharge infrastructure in all new residential buildings and those undergoing major renovation in line with the deployment of the electric vehicles market in each Member State.

> Download the common position paper.

03_04 Common vision on "Residential Electrical Safety - How to ensure progress"

More than ever safety of electrical installations in dwellings is a priority as to ‘prepare’ residential buildings to welcome digital solutions.

Electrical applications have improved our comfort and safety, and multiplied the means of entertaining and communicating. However, older electrical installations can be dangerous if not maintained properly. An estimated 280,000 fires of electrical origin still occur every year throughout the EU, estimated to cause an average of 1,000 fatalities each year and an annual property damage of 6.25 billion euro.

Moreover, new challenges lie ahead that could exacerbate this situation if no action is taken. One major concern is the rising average age of residential electrical installations in Europe. Another is the increasing introduction of many new technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicles into the residential environment. A further consideration is that people are living in their homes for longer, and using an increasing number of electrically operated devices to enable them to do so.

This White Paper makes a comprehensive analysis of the situation of domestic electrical safety in the EU, based on extrapolations of existing figures where they exist. It starts by looking at the origin of electrical safety issues, focusing on the old housing stock and a slow renovation rate. It analyses the causes and consequences of an unsafe electrical installation, and considers ways in which electrical safety is enforced, both in and beyond Europe, including an overview of electrical safety standards. The economics of electrical safety regulation are discussed, including a cost benefit analysis. The annex includes two European case studies (from France and the UK), electrical safety checklists, and a consideration of the potential impact of the energy transition on electrical safety issues.

The Forum for European Electrical Domestic Safety (FEEDS) wants to raise awareness and inform public authorities and consumers about the risks of unsafe electrical installations in dwellings by improving the statistical material and share best practices. All participants expressed their willingness to start and contribute to an action and communication plan in the Autumn 2017.

“This White Paper emphasises the importance of mandatory inspections of residential electrical installations, and shows how all stakeholders can profit from the financial benefits of improved electrical safety,” says a representative of FEEDS. “It will be of great interest to electrical engineers, policymakers, professional associations, fire brigades, consumer associations, insurance companies, and other organisations and stakeholders dedicated to electrical safety.”

Residential Electrical Safety: How to Ensure Progress can be downloaded in full from the Digital AIE Library or directly on Leonardo Energy’s website.

03_05 Stakeholders meeting on Smartness indicator (EPBD)

Study Smart Readiness IndicatorThe AIE participated on 7 June to a first stakeholders meeting organized by the European Commission on the Smartness indicator or the Smart Readiness Indicator.

The aim of the meeting was to explain the scope of the study and tasks of the consultants as to provide technical support to the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission in order to feed the negotiations and decision process regarding potentially setting up a ‘Smart Readiness Indicator for Buildings’. Such a ‘Smart Readiness Indicator’ (SRI) would give recognition for smarter building technologies and functionalities which enhance the energy efficiency and other pertinent performance characteristics of the building stock.

The service and impacts to be considered on smart readiness that have been mentioned are:

> Capability for interaction with occupants

> Capability of optimized operation and maintenance

> Capability of demand response

The timeline of the study runs until July 2018 but the important initial work will happen over summer. The AIE positioned itself as an important stakeholder as being the main contact point with the consumer and on-site. Therefore the AIE task forces are yet mobilized to give input ASAP to give the right options to the consultants who expect AIE’s contribution.

In light of the discussions during the meeting on the functionalities and services to be assessed by the smartness indicator, Evelyne Schellekens proposed to show to the EC and the consultants the AIE’s Smart Tool developed by the AIE some years ago as an example on what and how smartness indicators related to services/functionalities could be used.

Next steps:

> Technical report on mapping of Smart Ready Technologies will be shortly uploaded, open for comments

> Next stakeholders meeting in November 2017

> Everybody interested in the work, is invited to register on:

03_06 AIE's message to the European wholesalers

On 2nd June, the AIE Vice-President Gérard Constantin and Evelyne Schellekens, AIE’s General Secretary participated to the 62nd annual Convention of EUEW, the European Union of Electrical Wholesalers in Cracow. Mr Constantin’s main messages to the wide audience of wholesalers and manufacturers of Europe was the following (extract of the speech):

“There is enough space for everybody to deploy energy efficient solutions and technologies in building: the new technology and new products are available and ready for use!

Today the electrical industry offers us a wealth of new, intelligent and efficient technology and in addition, internet and the digitalisation are pushing us to change the way we used to do business: change the way both wholesalers and electrical contractors deliver services to their respective customer, change the installation practices further to processes as BIM and integrated and interconnected equipment.

Of course, the good news is that it will equally introduce additional business opportunities…………… if we do it properly!

Owners of buildings today expect more: more comfort, more functional requirements and services, more sustainable energy management, green and intelligent solutions, more interconnection…. Innovation and digital processes such as BIM help that happening, and more than ever it will be important for installation companies to have neutral interfaces with correct, reliable and up-date product data. Therefore, we invite you to reflect together on how and by whom the information and data will be managed for the benefit of the whole electrical value chain.

Don’t forget the installer is the main and most important partner for wholesalers and manufacturers. He is on-site and is the main contact point for the client! He is the one who advises, installs and connects the appropriate products and equipment and put them into service. But to do our job properly, the only channel for the product to reach the client should be the installer! And we, the installers, need to ensure we have qualified and trained workforce! In a strong, united and respectful value chain each one has a role to play: manufacturers produce, wholesalers distribute, installers install and this will bring benefits to all!

Let’s continue to build up and maintain sound and respectful relationships, to talk to each other about potential new concepts as BIM, share and understand each other’s problems and concerns and develop win-win business models.”

03_07 EU funded project: Smartel

The AIE is partner in a project called SMARTEL, launched in September 2016. The project is about setting up training modules for installers on smart meters and home automation technologies.

The Belgian electro technical training institute VOLTA (website in French/Dutch) is providing the training expertise on behalf of AIE.

> Action:
Next meeting of the consortium will be held in Valencia on 6-7 March 2017.

04_01 Kindly save the following dates for AIE internal meetings:



> 21.09.2017 | GSC and PCC during joint AIE-GCP Installers Assembly | Vienna

> 26-27.10.2017 | Technical Task Force Autumn meeting [TTF] | Lille

> 28.11.2017 | AIE General Secretaries Committee [GSC] | Brussels

> 06.12.2017 | Policy Coordination Committee [PCC] |

Discover more European events on the AIE website:

> 21-23.09.2017  | JOINT AIE-GCP INSTALLERS ASSEMBLY | Vienna, Austria

> 25-29.09.2017  |  EU PVSEC 2017 | RAI Convention Center, Amsterdam

EU PVSEC 2017, the 33rd edition of the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition takes place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 25 to 29 September 2017 at RAI Convention and Exhibition Centre (Conference: 25 to 29 September 2017, Exhibition: 25 to 28 September 2017).

> 3-5.10.2017  |  EUROPEAN UTILITY WEEK 2017 | RAI Convention Center, Amsterdam

European Utility Week is the premier business, innovation and information platform connecting the smart utility community, allowing you to meet with experts from utilities, network operators, vendors, consultants, startups and system integrators covering the entire smart energy value chain.

Check new AIE and related publications at our library on ISSUU or direct links to electrical sector magazines online

Go to AIE Digital Library 
AIE members and other related organisations from the electrical value chain are invited to inform us on interesting articles, brochures, scientific reports that can be added to our AIE online ISSUU Library!

Articles/reports that can inspire


1. Advantages of decarbonization. Source > Eurelectric

> Eurelectric released a report on the advantages of decarbonization:

‘The value of electricity in decarbonizing the EU’ (downloadable).

2. BPIE_2017_Status Report: Is Europe ready for the smart buildings revolution? Source > BPIE

The European building stock and energy system are at the initial stages of a journey towards becoming smart: moving from a centralised, fossil fuel-based and highly-energy-consuming system towards one that is more efficient, decentralised, consumer-focused and powered by renewable energy. In a recent report, BPIE developed ten principles for buildings to be at the core of a decarbonised energy system making it more flexible, resilient and efficient by saving energy as well as producing, storing and supplying it. Read in our AIE Library or download the report on the BPIE website

3. BPIE_2017_Status Report: Is Europe ready for the smart buildings revolution? Source > BPIE

In BPIE explored the concept of Smart buildings and came with an answer to the question: ‘What is a smart building?’ The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) put the finishing touches on its comprehensive work on smart buildings, providing a working definition of a ‘smart building’ and making detailed policy recommendations to encourage their growth. (More info in point 02-03).

> Read in our AIE Library or download the paper on the BPIE website.


Who we are:

The AIE – the European Association of electrical contracting companies - represents through its 15 national member associations about 125,500 specialist contracting companies employing about 1,200,000 workers in the EU-countries and beyond. The AIE represents companies from all sizes, the big majors and a majority of small and medium size enterprises [SME]. AIE member companies have an in-depth knowledge and high-quality expert skills to carry out all kind of electrical engineering and infrastructure works [high, medium and low voltage]. The overall turnover of the sector is approximately 137 billion Euros.

Monitoring the EU agenda/Directives relevant for the electrical sector, the AIE points out the key strategies and main priorities for the modern electrical contractor. With the increasing complexity of technical installations, the private consumer and house owners are becoming more and more dependent on the knowledge and creativity of the electrical contractor. He is an expert adviser who is able to explain to the client the possibilities and advantages of new technology in a technical and environmental way.

Kindly visit our website: or contact us at

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