e-CREW (establishing Community Renewable Energy Webs - Rolling out a business model and operational tool creating webs of households that jointly manage energy to improve efficiency and renewables uptake) is a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Union.
eCREW coordinates and supports the launch of an innovative system of household cooperation in energy management. These are Community Renewable Energy Webs (CREWs), in which households jointly harness household electricity generation and battery storage capacities and optimise energy efficiency and expenses. The main purpose of CREWs is to support the transition of passive consumers to active participants in the local energy system through informed decisions and collective action.
In eCREW, three energy companies from Germany, Spain and Turkey (Lighthouse Communities) will implement the eCREW approach to their customers. A strong and diversified Follower Community composed of entities from Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Turkey is set to initiate the eCREW approach as well. Together, 240,000 households will be able to join a CREW during the project period, establishing about 200 CREWs with 15,000 participants, saving at least 13 GWh/year. Cooperation within a CREW is facilitated through the provision of an award-winning smartphone application (PEAKapp), exploiting smart meter data to stimulate increased energy efficiency and the adoption of local renewable electricity production.
The administration of CREWs, including billing of consumption and generation, is covered by electricity retail companies that are thus transformed into holistic service providers, referred to as Community Administering Entities (CAEs). In this approach, administrative burdens are lifted from households, who are then free to focus their efforts on getting the most out of their participation in a CREW.
The monetary benefits of the eCREW approach are distributed among prosumers (both consumer and producer), mainstream consumers and the CAEs through an innovative split-incentives contract applied in the project. The financial agreement is tailor-made to ensure that the eCREW approach is financially sustainable and attractive to all participants and allows for non-discriminatory participation of all households.