UPSTAIRS UP-Lifting Communities

UPSTAIRS UP-Lifting Communities

European project

The residential sector has a significant role to play in achieving the EUs binding target of 32.5% energy efficiency saving by 2030. Recent EU directives have advanced definitions for two types of energy communities. A ‘Renewable Energy Community’ and a ‘Citizens Energy Community’. While there are similarities between the two, there are key differences, like their structure and ability to participate as a market actor. There is limited available information published in an approachable manner that explains these differences. Thus organising an energy community requires a great deal of expertise. The regular consumer often feels side-lined and unable to participate.

The UP-STAIRS project addresses these issues with a goal to accelerate the growth of energy communities by providing a common framework. UP-STAIRS removes the barriers to citizen participation in the transition from a consumer-market to a ‘prosumer-market’. This transition requires active learning and participation from all stakeholders. The UP-STAIRS Energy Service Framework enables local authorities and citizens to work together through a common structure embodied in a one-stop-shop.

This common structure includes business models and decision support for energy assessment of a community’s energy potential. UP-STAIRS provides a full service information repository on policy and regulatory advice which will give the UP-STAIRS Implementation Champion the confidence to understand the impact that their energy community can make into the market. Community support is through a compendium of energy tutorials on key topics including behaviour change, prosumerism, collective actions and their benefit to consumers, and what it means to become an energy citizen in a sustainable energy community.

The UP-STAIRS project consists of one RPO, one NGO, one consultancy organisation, one SME, one National Energy Authority, one Regional Energy Authority, three municipalities/city councils and one consumer organisation from seven member states. With a budget of over 1 million € the project will create 5 one-stop-shops to support establishment of energy communities for energy retrofits/RES integration in private residential buildings and/or energy communities for RE production in five pilot regions across Europe, namely Upper Austria, municipality of Asenovgrad, city of Cork, Brunnthal from Bavaria and Barcelona metropolitan area.

The project started in 2020 and is ongoing until 2023. It benefits the elderly, energy advisors, energy-poor, low-income consumers. It addresses the topics of climate change, indoor comfort (thermal comfort, housing quality), insulation, quality of dwelling, renewable energy, energy audits, energy efficiency, financing schemes.

Some concrete key performance indicators (KPIs) of the project include:


  • Energy savings: 21 GWh/year.
  • Investments in energy efficiency: €66 Million. 
  • Number of people reached: 10.000.
  • OSS business models tested: 5

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