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Challenge / Goal

The city is committed to the European Union’s goal of achieving a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in the share of renewable energy and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020 based on 1990 levels. It aims to reduce carbon dioxide even further, with a 50% reduction target by 2030.


Smart Home Systems are implemented through Smart Plug devices in 50 homes in the Mülheim district enabling the tenants to save electricity and warm water for the radiators remotely with their smart devices. By using a dynamic pricing model implemented by RheinEnergie, the tenants are able to use the installed PV systems. The additional battery storage increases the share of PV used to 30-50% with the remaining coming from grid. The collected usage and demand data is fed into the Cologne Open Data Platform and is used for improving forecasts for power and heat consumption.

The system increases tenants’ independence by giving them control over their energy mix (PV or grid) and consumption in an easy way using the Smart Home application. Provides clear data on energy consumption, allowing tenants to move towards lower energy consumption and increased renewable energy usage. The dynamic “PV-Mieterstrom” pricing model allows citizens more control over their individual usage and expenditure, increasing their quality of life.

 The application clearly documents consumption patterns of the devices for comparison and analytics.

Citizen participation

Official meetings with tenants held to explain the plan. The tenants were given the opportunity to switch to buildings not involved in the project.



Provides data on energy consumption

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Time period

Planning time: Less than 6 months

Implementation time: 2 to 5 years

    Main benefits

  • Reducing GHG emissions

  • Shaving peak energy demand

  • Improving energy usage efficiency

  • Increasing share of renewables

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