SMARTSPACES “Project to Watch” by the United Nations

SMARTSPACES has been named a “Project to Watch” as an innovative energy reduction project by the United Nations’ Big Data Climate Challenge. The Big Data Climate Challenge, hosted by UN Global Pulse and the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, aims to unearth data-driven climate solutions and evidence of the economic dimensions of climate change. It is aligned with the UN Climate Summit to be held in New York on 23 September 2014, where the Secretary-General will convene world leaders from government, finance, business and civil society to catalyse climate action.

The pan-European consortium of Bristol and another 10 pilot sites in 8 countries investigates ways to reduce energy in public buildings using ICT. The project is part-funded by the European Commission’s ICT Policy Support Programme at DG Connect and coordinated by empirica.

The leading pilot Bristol is concentrating on utilising the data from the council’s smart meters (Automatic Meter Readers), which collect energy usage data for every half-an-hour from over 500 buildings across the council’s estate. Annually this results in 36.8 million bits of data; from electricity, gas, oil and renewable resources.

“Big data helps us more deeply understand how climate change can affect our economies, land, health and issues of inequality””with the ultimate aim of delivering solutions, it can empower individuals, communities and policy-makers to make more informed decisions”, says Tracy Raczek, Senior Policy Advisor on Climate in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (United Nations).

Bristol City Council’s Energy Service, in partnership with energy management software provider SystemsLink, has created a number of user-friendly tools which convert this data into simple information and images and therefore provide greatly enhanced energy reduction.

  • Profile Reports: To identify energy wastage and potential energy efficiency projects
  • Invoice Reports: For budgeting and bench-marking
  • Green Finger Reports: For staff engagement
  • Profile Alarms: For next-day notifications
  • Web Portal and Dashboard: For 24/7 up-to-date information

The wide range of tools available means that they are appropriate for by a variety of users: including building professionals, accountants, facilities management, caretakers and general staff. Their use has been piloted across in 11 municipalities for nearly a year: already resulting in energy savings in some buildings of up to 20%. Service providers across all pilots, mostly SMEs, will launch commercial products and the Energy departments and Councils will offer energy services. SMARTSPACES will release a ‘Guide’ for replicating ICT energy services in public buildings and social housing next year. The ‘Guide for Replication’ will incorporate lessons learnt in the residential projects eSESH and BECA.

George Ferguson, Mayor of the leading pilot Bristol says: “This award is yet another example of the international recognition that Bristol is gaining for sustainability and green innovation, as we lead up to our year as European Green Capital in 2015. I will be at the UN Climate Summit in September and look forward to the opportunity of promoting this and other Bristol environmental initiatives at a world forum.”

For more information on the UN Climate Summit, visit

To learn about the Big Data Climate Challenge and UN Global Pulse, visit

For more information on SMARTSPACES, visit or contact moc.a1721457816cirip1721457816me@se1721457816capst1721457816rams1721457816.

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In SMARTSPACES, ICT-based services for public buildings have been evaluated in 11 pilots in 8 countries across Europe. Almost 600 buildings were equipped with the ICT-solution. The services are designed to evaluate the impact on overall energy consumption in public buildings.