EuropeOn working groups are back to face to face meetings!

This May, for the first time since early 2020, EuropeOn members gathered in the same room for two days of face to face meetings. For the close-knit EuropeOn community, the past two years of exclusively online meetings made this occasion all the more special.

For this first post-Covid in-person meeting, EuropeOn members met in sunny Helsinki in the offices of our Finnish member STUL, the electrical contractors’ association of Finland. We had lively exchanges on the latest developments in each country’s electrical contracting sector on both technical and political matters.

Policy WG members discussed best practices to cooperate with grid operators to ensure a speedy rollout of the energy transition; the Smart Readiness Indicator and how to integrate building smartness into rating of buildings’ energy performance; and the misconception around the fire safety of electric vehicles (especially in underground parking lots). 

Our first meeting was followed by a captivating visit to a recently finished EV charging installation, operated by Finnish company Parkkisähkö and carried out by STUL members. They showed us their novel model for pre-cabling parking lots, making them fully charging-ready and making it easy, cheap and fast for consumers to later have an EV charger installed.

The next day, our Technical WG started with an intriguing presentation on how our Finnish member association STUL is structured, followed by great debate on how each country is planning to reach climate and energy goals (nuclear, solar photovoltaic, wind, etc). Our English members ECA gave us an enlightening presentation on a new prosumer standard showing how electrical contractors have to adapt to be able to tackle new types of installations and on how they can contribute to optimising energy consumption. We also heard from an external presenter on fire safety of batteries, showing the need for clear guidance on how to install each new battery technology and on the need to educate consumers on how to use home batteries safely.

Finally, our members had an exchange of views on how electrical contractors can increase the amount of rooftop solar PV installations following solar industry calls to allow lower-skilled workers to do these installations. It seems in some countries cooperation with unions will be necessary to enable electrical contracting companies to streamline their solar PV installation business models but what is clear across Europe is that solar PV installations (and especially the associated electrical work) must be overseen by qualified electrical professionals.

What was clear after those two days is that face to face meetings yield another level of insights and make exchanges much more fruitful. We look forward to our next in-person meeting in Frankfurt in October during the Light + Building fair!