GEAR@SME aims to encourage and disseminate energy efficiency efforts in SMEs, through a shared approach characterized by three unique and innovative aspects:
- The introduction of “Trusted Partners”, whose key role is to operate as an impartial actor to foster the establishment of a relationship of mutual trust between SMEs (demand side) and energy service providers (supply side), so that SMEs can undergo energy audits and implement energy-saving measures.
- The development of a local collective approach that allow the exchange of experiences and information based on affinity of interests and geographical proximity.
- The introduction and use of the concept of “Multiple Benefits”, i.e. the exploitation of the benefits that can be obtained from a structured approach to energy efficiency, which go beyond the simple savings in the bill
This methodology will be applied to 4 case studies: Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Romania and will be supported by the development of a multilingual portal, where self-assessment tools, training material and best practices will be made available.
The activities of GEAR@SME will focus on four main industrial areas that bring together about 800 SMEs: The aim is to bring at least 300 of them to commit to the effective implementation of measures to reduce consumption and improve efficiency in energy use. This would lead to potential savings of 11 GWh per year and investments of up to €4 million. Furthermore it will be possible to widen the resonance of the approach developed also outside the partners directly involved in the case studies, helping to create the conditions for companies to find the right support and motivation to start energy efficiency interventions.