The STEP-IN project started on June 1, 2018. The consortium members and the EASME project officer met for the Kick-off Meeting in Manchester, UK on June 14-16, 2018.

Rod McCall, the project coordinator, gave a brief project overview and reminded the partners that the key to the success of STEP-IN lies in networking and connecting with the energy poverty community, mostly other projects and initiatives active in the field.

The EASME project officer also highlighted the importance of relevant initiatives such as the Citizens Energy Forum and the Covenant of Mayors, and strongly encouraged the consortium to connect with these. This will be an important factor to increase awareness and impact of the project. The project officer also highlighted the policy background and its importance for STEP-IN, e.g. the EU 2030 Framework on Climate and Energy, and Clean Energy for all Europeans COM (2016) 860. She advised STEP-IN to build on those to save resources, and to increase the knowledge and impact of the project’s activities.

Another important topic that was discussed during the Kick-off Meeting was ethics, data protection and GDPR compliance. The project’s Ethical Advisor, Peter Wahlgren of The Swedish Law and Informatics Research Institute highlighted the importance of ethics and data protection as the project works with vulnerable citizens.

WP leaders provided overviews on their work packages, and the unique challenges of each Living Lab were discussed within the consortium.

The session was followed by interactive workshops on the topics of engagement, measurement, rebound and ICT tools providing a sound basis for discussion among all participants.

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