The concept of the Smart Energy Demand Coalition (SEDC) was born out of an 18-month multi-client study performed by VaasaETT, mapping the rollout of demand side programs around the world. During this global research project, it became clear that Europe faces significant challenges in creating value-add demand side programs for consumers. Compared to the USA, Canada, Australia and South Korea, Europe had the lowest level of program development for its installed technical capability.

Europe’s splintered market structures, and historical regulations were creating barriers to consumer participation in the markets, which were more severe then almost any other developed region.

However, VaasaETT and its partners saw this as an exciting opportunity – clearly European markets had significant technical potential, which was as yet untapped for Demand Response, consumer feedback, home-automation…

A holistic end-to-end vision and solution was needed to streamline regulatory structures and ensure consumer access to demand side services.

In the autumn of 2010 Jessica Stromback, Chris King and Alicia Carrasco were discussing this situation over beers at Metering Europe. They brought forward the idea of creating a cross sector industry group – dedicated to the development of demand side program development. The Membership would reach across sectors, representing every member of the energy value chain. The wide range of stakeholders involved would allow the industry to speak with a single voice on what is needed to enable consumer and environmental programs. The group would provide clear, holistic regulatory suggestions, which could support policy makers as they looked to move the markets forward and an environmental, consumer friendly manner.

That night they sent out an email– anyone who wanted to see such a group started should meet the next day for lunch.

Three months later, January 2011, the SEDC was launched. By April over 40 members representing over 150 million European consumers had joined the initiative.

Since that day, the SEDC has succeeded in achieving a positive impact on market development throughout Europe. We have exposed the systematic regulatory barriers facing Demand Response in Europe and helped to support significant regulatory initiative supporting consumer rights. The SEDC has taken a sequence of strategic actions within various regulatory levels to ensure that demand side resources can compete on an equal footing with the supply side resources in the electricity markets. Thanks to targeted interventions with policymakers, the needs of consumer-oriented programs have been taken into consideration within the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Network Codes and other regulatory processes. Today, stronger in membership and impact, the SEDC remains dedicated to its fundamental mission: ensure a level playing field for new entrant service providers and promote consumer participation in the energy transition.