Smart grid on a small scale

An article about eCREW in Tag & Nacht magazine

An article about eCREW project was published by Stadtwerk Hassfurt GmbH in the German magazine Tag & Nacht. The article presents the aim of the project and briefly outline the roll-out of the eCREW approach to customers of Stadtwerk Hassfurt GmbH, the lighthouse provider for testing and implementing the eCrew approach in Germany. Moreover, the article highlights the benefits for participating households in Hassfurt.

eCrew – a research project with a high fun factor: Within an energy community, people try to consume as much locally generated electricity as possible.

Prerequisites: an installed smart meter and being a municipal utility customer.

The eCREW research project deals with the topic of smart grids, because its goal is to coordinate and support the cooperation of households in energy management without additional administrative effort for the customers. Simplified, we are talking about customer groups in which several households jointly store, distribute and consume the electricity they generate. This brings us one step closer to the vision of a climate-neutral Hassfurt! Having fun with energy What may sound complicated should be simple in practice. In the eCrew project, around ten households and businesses work together as a group (crew). Some of them produce electricity with PV systems, micro-CHP units or small wind turbines, while others consume it in such a way that the group has to buy as little electricity as possible from the municipal utility. In return, the former receive a higher amount than the normal feed-in tariff and the others pay less for the kilowatt hour consumed than if they purchase from the grid. The financial benefits are paid out to participants in the form of a bonus as part of their annual electricity bill. “It’s a challenge in which the aim is to achieve the greatest possible energy yield or exchange in one’s own group,” explains Lukas Albert, project manager of the research project. “On a dashboard, each participant can see what they themselves are currently generating and consuming, but also what the entire group is currently consuming. For data protection reasons, however, the individual consumption and generation values may not be displayed to the other participants.”

But you don’t have to sit in front of the screen all the time and start the washing machine as needed. It’s better to look out of the window. Because if the sun is shining, it’s worth going to the wallbox or the laundry. You quickly get a feel for when a lot of electricity is being consumed or generated. The competition among the crews underscores the playful nature of the research project – using energy locally can also be fun. Speaking of fun, it has already begun. Many people from Hassfurt are already taking part. Also all employees of the municipal utility who live in the supply area. “Anyone who didn’t sign up at the start of the project is welcome to contact me, some places can still be allocated later,” explains Lukas Albert. The municipal utility’s project manager can be reached by e-mail: or by phone at (0 95 21) 94 94-390.

Read the article in German here.

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