14. Building-to-Grid


Building-to-Grid (B2G) involves integrating buildings bidirectionally with the electrical grid, allowing them not only to consume but also to generate electricity using technologies like renewable energy and storage systems. Digitalisation facilitates grid and building integration. This approach creates opportunities for buildings to generate new value streams through energy services. B2G activities include participation in demand response, distributed energy generation (e.g., through renewables such as photovoltaics), or storage (e.g., thermal storage such as making ice for air conditioning or hot water storage), as well as diagnostics and energy efficiency analysis within the building itself.


42% of energy consumed in the EU in 2021 was used in buildings. More or less 80% of the energy consumed in EU households is used for heating, cooling and hot water. 85% of EU buildings were built before 2000 and, amongst those, 75% have a poor energy performance. Acting on the energy efficiency of buildings is therefore key to saving energy and achieving a zero-emission and fully decarbonised building stock by 2050.

Challenges and opportunities for DSOs


  • Modern buildings utilise Building Management Systems (BMS) and Energy Management Systems (EMS) equipped with sensors and actuators to control indoor environments and manage energy consumption.
  • Distribution-level ancillary services can enhance the reliability and resilience of the grid, especially at the local distribution network level.
  • DSOs can significantly contribute to reducing the energy consumption of buildings. Smart meters enable them to provide data for assessing the energy performance of buildings and identifying those in need of priority renovation.


  • Real-time coordination. direct control or through aggregators.
  • Cybersecurity. Future B2G interactions will be governed by a set of grid codes covering the electrical and cybersecurity aspects.
  • Interoperability. The existing building stock is dominated by legacy systems.
  • The standards defining the protocols for data exchange in buildings must allow the integration of the meters operated by DSOs into the system constituted by the intelligent building.

EDSO Considerations

  • The objectives of suppliers/retailers and DSOs do not align in the context of B2G integration. For example, suppliers/retailers might aim to balance trading commitments in the energy market using buildings. On the other hand, DSOs may seek to balance local consumption with distribution grid capacity limits.
  • E.DSO acknowledges that future grid operations will need to facilitate the integration of all types of demand-side users, including buildings, to allow their participation and equitably measure their impact across the power system. The future interactions of building-to-grid should ensure an efficient financial and functional integration for a participatory and competitive future electricity market.

Potential use cases

  • Network congestion support. Turning buildings into already deployed, low-cost storage options for the grid, ready to balance both peaks and valleys of demand in a seamless, automated fashion.
  • Voltage control. Buildings could assist in voltage control, particularly in networks with significant voltage fluctuations.
  • Demand reduction during scheduled maintenance. Buildings can contribute to demand reduction during scheduled maintenance work on the network.
  • Resilience and emergency power. Buildings can serve as sources of emergency power during grid outages, enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure and supporting community resilience.
  • Electric vehicle (EV) integration: Buildings can support the charging infrastructure for EVs, optimising energy usage and potentially providing energy back to the grid during times of high demand.

Ongoing projects

  • InterConnect. Approved by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, InterConnect gathers 50 European entities to develop and demonstrate advanced solutions for connecting and converging digital homes and buildings with the electricity sector (more info).
  • Platone, a four-year Horizon 2020 project, focused on enhancing the observability and flexibility of renewable energy resources. The consortium developed advanced management platforms for an open grid market, prioritising user needs. One solution involved installing edge devices at customer sites to collect metering data and receive flexibility activation commands from smart meters (more info).
  • EVELIXIA unites 36 organisations across 12 EU countries to transform buildings into energy-efficient, connected, smart, and flexible nodes. The project focuses on five Innovation Pathways, deploying solutions in seven countries for B2G and Grid-to-Building (G2B) services (more info).
  • WeForming. The project seeks to revolutionise energy management in buildings by creating Intelligent Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (more info).
  • EV4EU. Funded by the Horizon Europe program, EV4EU aims to implement bottom-up and user-centric Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) management strategies creating the conditions for electric vehicle mass deployment. It includes V2X in buildings (more info).

Last update: 17 May 2024