The recent Paris Agreement on climate change has made energy efficiency an even greater priority in all countries of the world, this will accelerate the transformation of the energy sector, promoting investments in associated technologies. Energy efficiency is widely recognized as the most economic and readily available measure that can deal with the numerous problems related to energy, including energy security as well as the social and economic impacts of high energy costs and the concern with climatic change. Simultaneously, energy efficiency increases the competitiveness and the well-being of consumers.

The 28 EU countries consume around 3.400 TWh of electricity and 2.600.000 TJ of heat per year. Buildings are responsible for the major part of end-use European energy consumption (40%), displaying the greatest potential for energy saving – given that 75% of existing buildings within the EU have been constructed during a time when there were no or little building regulations related to energy, the intensity of heating energy over the constructed surface is two times greater than in any other region (with the exception of Russia). These buildings have long-term assets and are to be in use for 50 years or more, it is estimated that the 75-90% of the present buildings will continue to remain in use in 2050.

The ICT sector has a key role in the accomplishment of the aims established by the 2020 EU Strategy. The European Commission promotes the use of ICTs as tools that have the biggest potential to improve energy efficiency. The sector offers possibilities for a structural change towards products and services that consume less resources, saving energy in buildings and electric grids. In the last years, great effort has been made to develop and embed hardware solutions (smart meters, smart sockets, etc.) and sophisticated control structures for measuring energy consumption in households. These solutions have been demonstrated to be technologically adequate and sustainable. Behavior change is key in the attainment of significant reductions in consumption, this however, has presented itself as a challenge. Understanding the human aspect of energy consumption can catalyze and broaden technology-based energy saving. This includes social, cultural and psychological factors that give shape to behavioral patterns associated with the adoption, use and maintenance of technologies and daily interactions. In this sense, ecoCASA will approach the problem of energy efficiency by examining the human aspect, this will help to understand energy consumption in the context of the necessities, capacities and resources, and individual and organizational motives, as well as the limitations and social and cultural factors that hinder behavior change and result in demands for specific energy services.