Woerden – A smart energy social housing neighbourhood

Woerden (Utrecht), Netherlands Energy Communities, Environment and Resource efficiency
“The result is that the social tenant can immediately enjoy the increased living comfort, without having to pay extra for it. ”


The neighbourhood in Woerden consists of 39 social housing units. Renovated in 2018, fitted with, amongst others, isolation and rooftop solar panels. To align the local energy production and consumption with the available capacity of Stedin’s electricity grid, various forecasting tools and smart assets are being implemented. Alfen’s neighbourhood battery storage system is an important tool to balance demand, supply and network availability.


The objective of the renovation programme was to examine the extent to which older rented houses can be converted in a cost-efficient manner, in such a way that they meet today’s efficiency and comfort standards.

The aim is to significantly extend the life of such homes and to improve the energy efficiency in such a way that a ‘zero on the meter’ scenario can be realised. This scenario makes it possible to work out a scheme whereby the tenants pay the same amount for their energy as before, while the amount paid in practice is divided between the actual energy cost – which is drastically reduced – and the costs of the renovation, which the construction company can recuperate this way.

Issues tackled

The first phase of the project was focused on the renovation of 39 residential houses and electrification of their energy sources. All these 39 houses are prosumer.

The second phase of the project is to extend the Energy Community up to 78 producers and consumers, being 39 ZOM Houses (Zero on the Meter) and 39 non-ZOM Houses as end-users. The first group (ZOM) is equipped with smart-meters for grid metering, Solar PV panels and controllable assets (Heat pumps). The second group (non-ZOM) is equipped with smart meters, as they are only consumers and only grid import is needed.

– Regarding energy usage, in each of the 39 ZOM houses: PV installation produces up to 7kW in the solar peak period.
– The project is also equipped with 4 home batteries (7.8kWh) and one district battery with a total capacity of 220kWh.
– The community is using LES technology developed by i.LECO and Enervalis dashboards to manage and visualize the energy data of each building.

Actors involved

  • BAM Construction
  • Stedin (SDO)
  • I.LECO
  • Enervalis
  • Bliq - Data & Communications

Why it works

One of the main objectives of the community is to lower the electricity bills of the participants. To achieve so, an annual package of energy is provided to the participants, who can choose any electricity supplier, and at the end of the year, incentives or penalizations can be applied to the participants according to their energy usage.

Furthermore, the energy community was part of the outcomes of the renovation works of the DRIvE project

Woerden is an early-adopter pilot and a social housing community comprised of generally low-income residents.

– User engagement
– Integration of the controllable assets

In terms of offering advice to those looking to emulate their work, the project managers note that “End-user engagement is difficult. It is also difficult to present complex energy-related information to a broad audience. The end-user survey project proved useful”.



More information



Rennovates project