• Smart consumer
  • Smart customer
  • Smart citizen

About the S3C toolkit website

The S3C toolkit is developed for anyone who is involved in the development of smart grid projects, products or services in which engagement of users plays an important role. Here you will find approximately fifty guidelines and tools with actionable information and advice that can support you in the planning and implementation of your smart grid project project, based on extensive field research. 

The S3C toolkit website for user engagement was developed by ECN (NL) on behalf of the S3C consortium. All guidelines and tools on this website are written by the S3C consortium partners, based on S3C research and test results. 

The guidelines and tools provide answers to questions such as:

  • How can I use smart grids to help people save energy?
  • What should I take into account in the planning phase of my project?
  • Which types of tariff structures and incentives can I choose from, and when to use which ones?
  • How do I estimate load shifting potential and measure the effects of interventions?

The information on this toolkit website is organized via three gateways which - depending on your knowledge needs and personal interests - can be used to navigate through the contents:

  • Learning - To get acquainted with the S3C approach and the research findings from the S3C project, as well as to read testimonial interviews with smart grid project managers and other stakeholders who actually tested the tools, you are invited to explore the first gateway. You can also compile your own personal information booklet through the interactive personal notebook tool.
  • Developing - This gateway is intended for professionals who are involved in the design or implementation of an actual smart grid project or working on concepts and ideas for smart grid products and services. Are you looking for information on what to take into account in a specific phase of project or product development? Here you can browse through all guidelines and tools by phases in the project cycle.
  • Exploring - The third gateway is aimed at anyone who is generally interested in the field of smart grids, and wants to learn more about customer involvement. Organized around five key topics regarding user engagement, this gateway contains all guidelines and tools on how to commit users in smart grids projects. 

All guidelines and tools are freely available from this website. They are designed to help you get started when engaging with (future) users and other stakeholders. However, for the application of most guidelines and tools, a certain level of expertise and/or technical knowledge is recommended. 

In case you require expert advice or support on your overall engagement strategy, or if you need help implementing specific guidelines or tools, please contact one of the S3C consortium members.

About the S3C project

S3C - Smart Consumer, Smart Customer, Smart Citizen - paves the way for successful long-term end user engagement by acknowledging that one typical smart consumer does not exist and uniform solutions are not applicable when human nature is involved. Beyond acting as a passive consumer of energy, users can take on different positions with respective responsibilities and opportunities. In order to promote cooperation between users and the energy utility of the future, S3C addresses the end user on three roles:

  • The Smart Consumer is mostly interested in lowering his/her energy bill, having stable or predictable energy bills over time and keeping comfort levels of energy services on an equal level.
  • The Smart Customer takes up a more active role in future smart grid functioning, e.g. by becoming a producer of energy or a provider of energy services.
  • The Smart Citizen values the development of smart grids as an opportunity to realise 'we-centred' needs or motivations, e.g. affiliation, self-acceptance or community.

S3C performed an extensive literature review and an in-depth case study research in smart grid trials, resulting in the identification of best practices, success factors and pitfalls for user engagement in smart energy ventures. The analysis of collected data and experiences led to the development of a new, optimised set of tools and guidelines to be used for the successful engagement of either Smart Consumers, Smart Customers or Smart Citizens. The S3C guidelines and tools aim to provide support to utilities in the design of an engagement strategy for both household consumers and SMEs. They are based on experience and results from a large number of smart grids projects throughout Europe. The collection of guidelines and tools describe the various aspects that should be taken into account when engaging with consumers, customers and citizens. 

The S3C project (2012-2015) has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement No. 308765. For more information on the S3C project, please visit the project website.

About the S3C consortium

The S3C consortium consists of seven European companies and research institutes, and includes experts from technology, engineering, social and natural sciences. The S3C consortium partners are: VITO (BE), B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH (DE), ECN (NL), RSE (IT), INEA (SI), SP (SE) and EDP Distribuição (PT). 

For more information on the S3C consortium and their activities, please visit the respective company websites or contact us directly.