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On May 22nd, Johannes Baumann (WECF) visited the renowned Berlin Energy Days and together with Fabienne Wehrle (Project Manager at “Bürger schaffen Wissen”), Christopher Neumann (Managing Director of Prosumergy GmbH) and Christoph Rinke (Board Member of BürgerEnergie Berlin eG) spoke about the integration of citizen science in energy research and, in particular, in the tenant electricity model based on the STEP CHANGE project.

The aim of this event was to discuss the still untapped potential of Photovoltaics (PV) systems on multi-family houses in Germany, despite the passing of the Tenant Electricity Act in 2017, which should have provided the necessary policy and infrastructure to promote the implementation of such renewable energy systems.

Fabienne Wehrle in Berlin in front of an interested audience (Photo WECF)

In the introductory presentation, Fabienne Wehrle explained the Citizen Science approach and associated opportunities, thereby showing that linking Citizen Science with energy topics is a very innovative and relevant concept. Johannes Baumann then presented the concrete implementation of Citizen Science in the EU-funded citizen science project “Step Change” and showed the research results on tenant electricity barriers and drivers.

Furthermore, Johannes highlighted the positive effects on the energy culture of participating Citizen Scientists, as the collected data show decreasing energy consumption due to changes in attitudes, behaviors, and the use of technical equipment (e.g. regular feedback on electricity consumption through smart electricity meters).

Christoph Rinke’s and Christopher Neumann’s contributions to this event focused on the practical relevance of the research results. They provided insights into a challenging environment characterized by very elaborate metering equipment, complexity in building aggregation for neighbourhood supply, and obstructive compensation-related aspects (e.g., lack of electricity tax exemption in the supply chain model).

The subsequent questions and lively exchange showed the relevance of the event topic, and the WECF team was happy to share the approach, knowledge, and research results of the Step Change project.

If you have any further questions about our Step Change CSI on Tenant electricity, feel free to contact us using the form below!