Project News

UP-STAIRS results at the ABEA event in Bulgaria

The efforts within UP-STAIRS project to assist the establishment of energy communities, and the recent project results were presented and discussed at “Energy Transition and the Role of Energy Agencies and Centres in Bulgaria”, held on 06-07 July 2023 in Panagyurishte, Bulgaria.
The event was organized by Association of Bulgarian Energy Agencies (ABEA) and was attended by 23 participants from various stakeholders among which governmental institutions, national and local energy agencies, sustainable energy consulting centres, and others.
The main topics of discussion included the current relevant legislation in Bulgaria, the role of One-Stop-Shops in the process of energy communities’ establishment, and the barriers encountered during the process and ways to overcome them.

UP-STAIRS Presentation at EUSEW 2023

Energiesparverband presented the UP-STAIRS project, especially the REC One-Stop-Shop support service for RECs at the EUSEW event organised by YES-Europe – Young Leaders in Energy and Sustainability on the 20th June 2023.
The event put a focus on "How youth-driven energy communities can shape the clean energy transition".

UP-STAIRS project video

The video informs about Energy Communities presenting the example of the City of Cork OSS.



RE-ENERGISING EUROPE: 24-25 October 2023, Brussels

This 2-day event, organised by 7 EU-funded projects (Horizon2020), will bring together on-stage speakers from the EU institutions, from the projects as well as key players from the energy market, to discuss how the work done in the past 3 years can support RE-energising Europe. The second day is dedicated to „Energy communities and renewable energy, accelerating Europe’s transition towards a climate neutral, inclusive future“ and is organised by H2020 BECoop, NRG2PEERS, UP-STAIRS and W4RES.

UP-STAIRS at the Annual Meeting of the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria

UP-STAIRS project development and results were presented on 17 June 2023 at the Annual Meeting of the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria, a Bulgarian national trade association in the field of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigerating engineering, electrical engineering and automation, water and gas supply, energy saving technologies, energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy, and environmental protection. The meeting was attended by over 40 participants representing different industry branches, Bulgarian Sustainable Energy Development Agency, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, State agency for metrological and technical surveillance, University Thomas More, Belgium, GCP Europe, and others.

OSS ASEN Workshop "Setting up One Stop Shops"

On 27 April 2023 an online Workshop "Setting up One Stop Shops". First results, further challenges and plans for the development of energy communities” was held in OSS ASEN, Bulgaria. It was , attended by representatives of Bulgarian regions among which Asenovgrad, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Smolyan, and stakeholders from muncipal associations, local and regional energy agencies and NGOs. Among discussed topics were the achieved results and main challenges in the process of ASEN OSS establishment and operation, as well as important aspects of legislative and regulatory framework for the success of energy communities establishment and facilitation of citizen participation in the energy transition.

Up-Stairs Workshop: One Stop Shops for Enabling Energy Communities

Cork City Council recently hosted the second Up-Stairs workshop on the 31st May 2023 in Cork City. The workshop was attended by 13 people, e.g. from The Irish Green Building Council, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Commission for Regulation of Utilities, IERC and Cork City Council. The workshop was very successful, topics such as  “How to overcome legal and regulatory barriers for Energy Communities in Ireland” and “Other challenges for the development of Energy Communities in Ireland” were discussed.

Are renewable energy communities a vehicle to mitigate the energy crisis and lift people out of energy poverty?

Collaborative briefing with the UP-STAIRS sister project was developed (March 2023)
This briefing was prepared by 10 EU-funded projects working on the topics of energy communities and/or energy poverty and it looks at how the two topics actually relate.
More infoirmation: link here

UP-STAIRS at the European Energy Efficiency Conference

ESV presented the UP-STAIRS project and the OSS at the European Energy Efficiency Conference on 2nd March 2023 in Wels/Austria. Besides the presentation, the audience was invited to visit the UP-STAIRS poster displayed in the poster presentation. This eventwas part of the annual international conference WSED with more than 650 participants from 60 countries.

Environmental Society meeting during annual ‘Green Week’

University College Cork held an Environmental Society meeting during their annual ‘Green Week’. Michael Canny (pictured) explained the aims of the Up-Stairs Project, outlining the advantages of Energy Community formation to those in attendance.

Roll-out of successful REC support programme

On behalf of the regional government, ESV launched and managed a dedicated small financial support programme for preparations RECs. Due to programme's success, recently the national government adopted this programme and it is now available across Austria. 

Energy Awareness Day

An Energy Awareness Day was organised by the Energy Team in Cork City Council on the 23rd February 23. The Up-Stairs project was showcased to employees of Cork City Council. Pictured (left to right—Michael Canny, Up-Stairs Implementation Champion. Damien Williams, Graduate Engineer. Pat Dunne, Facilities Manager Cork City Council. Brian Cassidy, Senior Executive Engineer Cork City Council.)

Saving energy to help you pocket and the climate

A new Cork City Council scheme aims to help individuals and businesses access information on how they can curb their energy use. Brian Cassidy, Cork City Council, informs citizens about the services available at HEUGO, Cork City.

Webinar organised by KAPE

The Webinar „One Stop Shop w gminie – lokalne wsparcie działań na rzecz efektywności energetycznej” organised by Krajowa Agencja Poszanowania Energii | KAPE S.A. on 14th December 2022, offered the opportunity to outline the concept of One Stop Shop in Up-Stairs and examples of OSSs created in pilot regions.
Due to the fact that the participants were mainly representatives of municipalities, the types of support that can be offered by One Stop Shop and the potential benefits that such an OSS can bring to the municipality and residents were also presented.
For more information:

Upper Austria: online advice on renewable energy communities

In addition to in-person information advice, the OÖ Energiesparverband offered on 14th November 2022 an online advice session on renewable energy communities. More than 30 participants received important information for planning and implementation of renewable energy communities and were able to receive answers to their individual questions.

XV National Conference of the Association of Energy Agencies in Sofia, Bulgaria

UP-STAIRS was presented at the XV National Conference of the Association of Energy Agencies held on 30 November 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The presentation focused on the first project monitoring results and how they contribute to combating the climate change at local and EU level. The event was attended by 44 participants from governmental institutions, energy agencies, financing bodies, NGOs, etc.

First Up-Stairs Paper published

The first Up-Stairs paper with the title: “A review and mapping exercise of energy community regulatory challenges in European member states based on a survey of collective energy actors” was published recently by the Up-Stairs partner Tyndall National Institute, International Energy Research Centre.
It identifies key differences between energy community actors and outlines energy efficiency being a pillar of collective actions developing energy communities.


Powerpoor Brokerage Event

UP-STAIRS was represented by IERC at the POWERPOOR event of the Community Energy sister project group in Brussel in November 2022.

Innovation for energy communities at the International Clean Energy Hackathon in Linz/Upper Austria

At the International Clean Energy Hackathon – held by the OÖ Energiesparverband on 14-15 November in Linz/Upper Austria – 31 teams from 10 countries "hacked" challenges and developed new products for the energy transition. 6 teams worked on 3 challenges that could greatly help the scale-up of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs). They developed innovative solutions for energy balance forecasting tools as well as automated roof surface mapping and PV yield forecasting based on GIS data. On the second day of the event, the teams pitched their ideas to a high-level jury. In the next phase, selected teams will have the opportunity to further develop their innovative solution – and thus contribute to climate neutrality and the energy transition!

Promoting Upstairs at the EirGrid information evening

Promoting Upstairs at the EirGrid information evening about Home Retrofitting grants, community microgeneration projects and the upgrading of the Electricity grid in Ireland.

Cork City Innovation event

The presentation of the Up-Stairs project along with the One Stop Shop concept was carried out by KAPE at the Thermomodernization Forum organized by the Association of Energy Auditors on 5th October 2022 in Warsaw. For more information:

Interreg Intensify Final Conference in Cork City

A presentation about the setting up of a One Stop Shop, at the Interreg Intensify Final Conference in Cork City offered an ideal opportunity to discuss the Up-Stairs project.

Cork City Innovation event

Promoting Upstairs at the Cork City Innovation event. The event showcased the many innovative projects currently in operation within Cork City Council.

Engagement activities in Cornellà and Sant Boi de Llobregat, Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona

Around 20 people attended the two workshops "Fes la teva energia, fem comunitat" ("Make your own energy, we are a community") focused on residential PV. Advice was shared on how to generate photovoltaic solar energy, how to form an energy communities and how to save energy.

OSS Flyer: Municipality of Asenovgrad

A promotional brochure for the pilot region Bulgaria (Municipality of Asenovgrad) is online available (in bulgarian only). It provides targeted details about the project and the OSS services in Asenovgrad. An advice service on energy refurbishment and the use of renewables in private households was established.

More information

OSS Flyer: City of Cork

The OSS Flyer for the pilot region Ireland (City of Cork) is online available. It provides targeted details about the project and the OSS services in Cork. Cork City Council has established a Home Energy UpGrade Office (HEUGO), that provides advice and support to citizens on energy upgrades to their homes.

More information

OSS Flyer: Upper Austria (de)

The OSS Flyer for the pilot region Upper Austria is online available (in german only). It provides targeted details about the project and the OSS services in the region. The OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV) offers a support service for the establishment of Renewable Energy Communities in the region of Upper Austria.

More information

UP-Stairs @ the XV National Conference of Bulgarian Energy Agencies, 19 July 2022

The most recent developments in UP-STAIRS project and in particular the opening of OSS ASEN were presented by SEC at XV National Conference of Bulgarian Energy Agencies, on 19 July 2022 in Bourgas, Bulgaria. After the presentation a discussion was held on the services offered by OSS ASEN and what potential benefits to the citizens these services can provide.

Ms. Forde (Lord Mayor, Cork City) officially opened the Home Energy Upgrade Office (HEUGO)

The City of Cork OSS was officially launched by cutting the ribbon of HEUGO by Lord Mayor of Cork City, Deirdre Forde. More information about the OSS: City of Cork - UP-STAIRS (

Barcelona Metropolitan Area: Training of the ICs including site-visit

Hands-on experience for the Implementation Champions (ICs). One highlight of the IC training for the Barcelona Metropolitan Area OSS was the site-visit to installed PV plants. 

Interview with Dr Padraig Lyons, Head of Group at IERC about the OSS in Cork

“We want to bring home-owners, neighbours, and local communities together to form ‘energy communities’. When people work together, they can often get better results at a reduced cost. For instance, if a group of neighbours are interested in getting solar panels on their houses, it would be cheaper for them to come together as an ‘energy community’ for the project, as often the costs, such as hiring a cherry-picker for installation can be spread across the group. Our Implementation Champions will support them through the whole process from advising on grants, to legislation and providing technical information.”

Upper Austria: Ongoing interest in the training course on renewable energy communities!

ESV offered the event for the 6th time on 19th July 2022. 27 participants (around the half from municipalities) got informed about important topics for the planning and implementation of renewable energy communities. As the interest is high, the ESV will offer more trainings in the near future.

New Energy Advice Kiosk opened on Grand Parade in Cork to Support Energy Communities

12 July 2022: Looking for some advice on how to work with your neighbours, or with your community, to save or even generate energy at home and carbon emissions? Cork City Council’s new Home Energy Upgrade Office kiosk on Grand Parade in Cork, provides just such a service. The public can call in to get expert information on all aspects of forming communities that are looking to upgrade their homes or community buildings to be more energy efficient or install community owned renewable generation.

UP-Stairs General Assembly 6-7 July 2022

Next week, the UP-STAIRS Uplifting Energy Communities Consortium will reunite in occasion of the UP-STAIRS General Assembly! Stay tuned for more updates.

Preparations for the opening of the Cork City Council’s Home Energy Upgrade Office

On 12th July 2022 the Cork City Council’s Home Energy Upgrade Office will open it doors to give people advice and support on all aspects of improving their energy efficiency. The Home Energy Upgrade Office will be open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday, with specialised staff from Cork City Council, known as UP-STAIRS Implementation Champions, on hand to give people advice and support on all aspects of improving their energy efficiency.

Up-Stairs Implementation Champion training day

Cork organised an Up-Stairs Implementation Champion training day on 2 July 2022 in Cork. 12 people attended and were trained on the UP-STAIRS training modules

OSS Asenovgrad presented at a conference in Zagreb

On 28-29 June 2022, the UP-STAIRS project and its pilot OSS Asenovgrad were presented at the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub (EPAH) conference "Moving towards energy autonomy: How to guarantee social inclusion" in Zagreb, Croatia. The event was jointly organised by the EPAH and the city of Zagreb, and focused on different approaches for combating energy poverty around Europe. The presentation took place in the session "The challenges of building renovations as a key solution to energy poverty", as an example for a promising specific approach for energy poverty mitigation through building energy renovation and energy efficiency measures in private residential buildings in Bulgaria.

For more information:


Municipality of Asenovgrad: Training of the ICs 23 June 22

Five municipal employees have been officially appointed by the Mayor to work as ICs. One person from ASEN will serve as a trainer for potential future ICs. 

Barcelona Metropolitan Area - Training of ICs

The AMB OSS is focused on the creation of Energy Communities by supporting the installation of renewable energy. Public workers have been hired by municipalities to push the energy transition through Energy Communities and act as Implementation Champions (ICs). AMB has successfully finished their first training program for Implementation Champions (ICs). A second training in October for another 30 ICs is planned.

Engagement activities at the Barcelona Metropolitan Area:

a total of 20 engaging activities for citizens and SMEs has been already successfully carried out by AMB. High interest on Energy Communities.

Training of Implementation Champions, OSS Asenovgrad – OSS now open!

Asenovgrad: On 23rd June five Implementation Champions have been trained to provide advice on energy refurbishment and the use of renewables in private households.

OSS now open: since 24th June the citizens of the Municipality of Asenovgrad can benefit from the advice provided by the experts on organizational, legal, technical and financial issues.

Training course on renewable energy communities

High interest on renewable energy communities in Upper Austria. Following the large success of the trainings, ESV in the context of its "one-stop shop" for energy communities offered the event for the 5th time on 9 June 2022. The training seminar informed more than 40 participants - which came mainly from municipalities, about legal, technical and organisational issues that are important for the planning and implementation of renewable energy communities. More courses are foreseen.

Review workshop: Developing One Stop Shops for energy communities and collective local actions

This workshop was organised by KAPE and addressed to citizens, municipalities and companies who would like to expand their knowledge about collective actions and who want to learn about the emerging One Stop Shops (OSS), which are subject of the UpStairs project.

You missed the workshop? Check out the event recording:

Contractor’s Meeting on Energy Communities

From 4-5 May 2022 the Contractor’s Meeting on Energy Communities was organised as online event. IERC presented the UP-STAIRS project, its objectives, outlined the approach and presented key takeaways.

Cooperative Workshop UP-STAIRS and Partners

On 26 April 2022 the Online Workshop “From setting up energy communities to making them thrive: what are the tools available” was held by UP-STAIRS partners (IERC, GCN) in cooperation with the Community Energy sister projects group in which UPSTAIRS is involved

Training for Implementation Champions at the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, 25 April 22

Monday 25th of April the AMB started the training program addressed to 30 public workers that soon will be working as Implementation Champions in the metropolitan OSS.

Coming Soon: Free information on energy efficiency at the Home Energy Upgrade Office in Cork

Cork City Council has secured a premises in the City Centre which will be used as a Home Energy Upgrade Office. The office will provide free advice to citizens on energy upgrades to their homes. The premises is currently at Fit Out stage.

Review: Energy communities tools workshop, 26th April 2022

This event was organized by 9 H2020 projects, BECoop, DECIDE, EC², E-Crew, COME RES, W4RES, Newcomers, UP-STAIRS and POWERPOOR. 18 tools that can help local citizens, communities and other stakeholders learn more, plan, start and grow their energy communities across Europe were presented. 

You missed the workshop? Check out the event recording video: After event material

UP-Stairs Poster @ the WSED

The Up-Stairs project was shared with 430 international energy experts during the 3 conference days on-site in Wels, Austria. The conference offered a platform to disseminate the project and increase the visibility. The WSED are an international conference on the energy transition and climate neutrality. Each year, the entire energy transition community gathers in Wels to benefit from the comprehensive package of events and networking opportunities.

Corks OSS Progress

A premises was secured by Cork City Council in March 2022 for the establishment of a physical OSS namely the Home Energy UpGrade Office (HEUGO). The premises was formally a coffee shop before it was redesigned as an office space.

Workshop: Developing One Stop Shops for energy community and collective local action: opportunity - challenge - solution

Date: 27th of April 2022, 10.00 – 13.30 CET, online

Familiarize yourself with the concept of One Stop Shops (OSS), which support residents in creating collective actions. Barriers, lessons learnt and other issues related to the creation of collective actions in individual countries will be discussed.
Register now and meet with potential partners and make valuable contacts!


  • One Stop Shop and collective actions
  • barriers, that occurred during setting up the OSSs
  • solutions to overcome these barriers
  • communication between municipalities and citizens
  • raising awareness about energy communities

Target group: local authorities, citizens, implementation champions, companies related to the energy sector


  • Welcome and introduction
  • General overview of Up-Stairs Project and introduction of the UP-STAIRS pilots
  • One Stop Shops: Cork, Asenovgrad, Upper Austria, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Brunnthal
  • Discussion

First engagement event AMB

April 1st AMB held the first engagement event in Pallejà, focused on developing energy communities in the industrial sector.

Event announcement:

From setting up energy communities to making them thrive: what are the tools available?

26 April 22, 9.00-12.30, online

  • Are you setting up an energy community?
  • Would like to join one but don’t know where to find it or where to start?
  • You are part of a community energy initiative and want to find tools to help you develop, manage and grow?

This event will showcase 15 different tools to set up and manage energy communities.
Interested? There is still time to register! Don’t miss out! 

Cork recruited 8 Implementation Champions

Cork City Council nominated 4 Implementation Champions (staff members of the climate action team within the Housing Maintenance department). 4 volunteers were also recruited to become Implementation Champions, all with different profiles from the retrofitting environment, bringing the total number of IC’s to 8.

First renewable energy community of Upper Austria

On Tuesday, March 22, the first "Renewable Energy Community" (EEG) in Upper Austria was founded as a "Genossenschaft" (cooperative) in Steyr. Key actors and first two members are the City of Steyr and a bank institute. They see themselves as pioneers with the targets of 100 % green electricity for the city (60,000 inhabitants) and to include the citizens and SMEs.
Quote of the mayor and bank director: "The power of the individual is bundled in the community to meet the challenges of the present. In this context, energy cooperatives are a key to the energy transition, because EVERYONE can join."

Training course on renewable energy communities

A 4th training course was offered on 10 March 2022 by the regional energy agency of Upper Austria (OÖ Energiesparverband, ESV) as a part of its Upstairs activities. The in-person workshop with around 30 participants (representatives from municipalities, SMEs and citizens) provided extensive information on RECs, e.g., how to initiate, develop and manage RECs. 

Online training on renewable energy communities

The regional energy agency of Upper Austria (ESV) held their 3rd half-day training course on renewable energy communities on 22 February 2022. 35 interested participants from municipalities, companies and organisations built up broad knowledge on RECs.

High interest on renewable energy communities in Upper Austria

Following the large success of the first training course on renewable energy communities (RECs) in Upper Austria in November 2021, the regional energy agency of Upper Austria (OÖ Energiesparverband, ESV) offered the event for a second time on 12 January 2022.

The 33 participants included representatives of the main groups likely to form RECs in the region (i.e. municipalities, SMEs and citizens), as well as potential REC facilitators such as energy consulting companies and energy agencies. The event offered valuable information on how to initiate, develop and manage RECs, and answered several questions around these topics.

Through its One-Stop-Shop for RECs, ESV is working closely with a number of forerunners eager to create the first RECs in Upper Austria. Due to the very high stakeholder interest, a third training course will be offered in March 2022. For more information, contact the ESV at office(at)

Renewable energy communities in Upper Austria

More information in German language about:

  • What is a new "renewable energy community"? What advantages does it offer?
  • Who can join, who can't?
  • How are RECs organized?
  • Contact details for advice sessions

you can find here:

Training on renewable energy communities in Upper Austria

On 17 November 2021, the regional energy agency of Upper Austria (OÖ Energiesparverband, ESV) held a half-day training course on renewable energy communities (RECs). Over 20 highly interested participants from municipalities, companies and organisations took part to learn how to initiate, develop and manage the region's first RECs.

The event offered detailed information on the regulatory and technical frameworks already in place in Upper Austria, and presented the services that are available to support the development of RECs – including the ESV’s one-stop-shop for energy communities.

As the first event of its kind in the region, the training course was quickly fully booked. Due to the high level of interest, the ESV will offer further dates in the coming months. For more information, contact the ESV at office(at)

Event: Fast Track on Energy Communities

The UP-STAIRS Uplifting Energy Communities Consortium is proud to be joining the "Fast Track on Energy Communities in Europe" workshop during Sustainable Places 2021 in Rome.

Day: Sep 29th,
Time: 3:30pm CET
For: "Social Engagement in Energy Communities" cluster

For more information, check the link:

Article about Energy Communities in "Línia el diari metropolità"

Article abouts Barcelona Metropolitan Areas engagement on energy communities. (language: Catalan/Spanish)

More information 

Barcelona Metropolitan Areas engagement in the UP-Stairs project

More information in Catalan language

Energy communities now possible in Austria!

On 7 July 2021, Austria’s National Council adopted a legal framework that enables the establishment of energy communities in Austria. With this new framework, called Erneuerbaren Ausbau Gesetz (EAG), the concrete development and implementation of energy communities can now begin! The energy agency of Upper Austria and UP-STAIRS project partner OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV), offers a One-Stop-Shop supporting the creation of energy communities in the region. A regional subsidy for energy communities is also available. For more information, visit (in German) or contact the ESV team at office(at)

First major information event on energy communities in Linz

On 20th April 2021, ESV organised a first conference on energy communities in Linz, Austria. More than 400 participants  were informed about the different ways to put the new energy communities into practice. It offered an insight into the legal and organisational framework as well as an overview of funding opportunities and invited people to get involved.

Article in The Munster Express:

"What Energy Communities mean and why are they critical?" by Piyush Verma from the International Energy Research Centre  (IERC)

UP-STAIRS video released!

Check out our new video if you want to discover more about this European Commission #H2020 project which will accelerate the creation of energy communities and collective action by setting up One-Stop-Shops in 5 pilot regions across the EU.


Peer-to-peer exchange on Renewable Energy Communities (RECs)

UP-STAIRS project partners came together on 8 February 2021 in a working group to exchange on the status quo of RECs in the 5 pilot. Initiated and organised by the OÖ Energiesparverband (the project partner supporting the pilot region of Upper Austria), the working group allowed for a first structured exchange on the opportunities for RECs and collective action in the 5 pilot regions. It was an initial step in developing the One-Stop-Shops that will be established in Cork City (Ireland), the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (Catalonia/Spain), the Municipality of Brunnthal (Germany), the Region of Upper Austria (Austria) and the Municipality of Asenovgrad (Bulgaria).

UP-STAIRS – Off to a great start!

On 30 September - 1 October 2020, 10 organisations from 7 EU countries met online for the kick-off meeting of UP-STAIRS – a project that focusses on accelerating the creation of energy communities in European countries. As central element of the project, One-Stop-Shops for energy communities and collective action will be set up in 5 pilot regions across the EU: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland and Spain. The motivated team discussed first actions and got the project off to a great start. UP-STAIRS is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and coordinated by the University College Cork - National University of Ireland. It started on 1 September 2020 and runs for 36 months.

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