Project Methodology

Trusted partners play a key role in the success of the GEAR@SME methodology, by bridging the gap between SMEs and energy service providers. Hence, GEAR@SME will ensure the necessary enhancement of skills and dedicated training course first and foremost to Trusted Partner organizations. To this end, 1 Trusted Partner will be trained for each of the 4 project use cases, and an additional 20 per use case via the national upscaling workshops. These Trusted Partners can be from different organisations and have access to new business parks or groups of SMEs. Skills enhancement and trainings will in particular focus on topics such as multiple benefits, SME segmentation, collective approach to organising SMEs to take energy efficiency measures, and appropriate financing instruments. In each use case, the skills of 10 energy service providers (such as auditors, contractors, financial service providers and energy service companies) will also be enhanced. Their business propositions will be adapted through a process of trainings and workshops such that they are in line with the GEAR@SME methodology and are part of the bridge between SMEs and energy service providers.

In GEAR@SME, SMEs will be activated and their interest in energy efficiency will be raised by focusing on the multiple benefits of energy savings to their business. Trusted partners in the use cases will have a key role in educating the SMEs, taking into account the core business logic and values of the SMEs. Information materials and collected experiences from the use cases will be made available to create an environment conducive for change in at least 200 SMEs. Behavioural change requires targeting both managerial and operational level. Hence, GEAR@SME will activate and enable at least 200 managers and a multiple number of operational staff members per SME to enhance energy culture and take energy efficiency measures.