Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities
Research project

PARticipatory platform for sustainable Energy managemenT (PARENT)

The PARENT project aimed to increase, in a socially acceptable manner, the engagement of individuals in the responsible management of their own electricity usage.


Main content

The project, executed in a constant and close dialogue with stakeholders, aimed to develop an innovative platform for participatory energy management, fuelled by novel analytics, visualisation and gamification techniques to stimulate behavioural change.


The energy trilemma – the provision of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to society – requires energy to be generated, distributed, consumed and managed and governed in a novel way. In order to answer the pressing needs of more efficient energy management, the PARENT project has a three-fold goal:

  1. to expand an innovative participatory energy management platform, targeting – as a case-study – home electricity usage in four cities;
  2. to provide a set of practical recommendations on how such a platform would contribute to the increasing of energy efficiency at local, regional, national and European levels;
  3. to offer state-of-the art knowledge in the field.

PARENT aimed to increase engagement of individuals in the responsible management of their own electricity usage, by supporting and stimulating improvements in household energy consumption.

PARENT set out to develop a platform for participatory energy management, fueled by community building and social engagement, visualization and gamification techniques.

Ample attention was paid to social acceptability. Indeed, PARENT operated in three cities in Europe (Amsterdam, Bergen, Brussels) by means of Pilots and Living Labs.

It studied social acceptance within the user communities and the local contexts of these cities. With this knowledge, PARENT aimed to develop guidelines for activating citizens to reduce household energy consumption in Europe, taking requirements for responsible innovation and public engagement into account.

The Bergen Pilot

The Pilots formed the keystone of the PARENT project. They concerned the involvement of participant households in the real-life use and testing of PARENT platform. Pilot participants helped enhance the platform features and their value for energy behaviours improvements.

Any household in Bergen municipality was welcome to enrol and participate, provided they satisfy few simple requirements:

  • Have Internet with Wi-Fi connection at home;
  • Wi-Fi signal reaches the fusebox area at home;
  • Have a power plug close to the area of the fusebox (or are willing to make a technical intervention to work around the issue).

The duration of the Bergen Pilot was approximately 12 months (Jul/Aug 2017 – Aug/Sep 2018). Enrollment and participation in the  Bergen Pilot was volunteer-based and free. At the end of the Pilot, participants would be entitled to keep the Smappee energy monitor. Participants were also entitled to withdraw their participation (in this case, Smappee energy monitor had to be returned to PARENT, to allow others to join).

Read the call for Pilot participants in Documents below.