Guidelines to build an energy baseline scenario

At the start of any refurbishment project, is the assessment of the city’s current situation in terms of energy use and production: this “energy baseline” will serve as a reference for further comparison.


SINFONIA provides guidelines to collect and process the required field data in order to build such energy baseline.


A very first step in preparing a city’s refurbishment project is to get a clear picture of the current situation not only in terms of energy consumption and production, but also in terms of the components and aspects that can affect those attributes. Establishing a baseline means collecting, elaborating, analysing and structuring all of the relevant data in a specific timeframe in order to use them as a basis to compare energy performances and evaluate the effectiveness of refurbishment plans.


The SINFONIA guidelines developed by EURAC and UIBK describe the activities to be conducted in order to collect and process the data, as for instance the identification of the different data providers, the definition of the baseline year, or the clarification of the privacy and data protection issues.


It also provides and “ideal checklist” of the collectable data, gathered in three categories:

  • Data describing the energy flows in the system: energy consumption and production data, leading to assess the energy balances and emission inventories;
  • Data describing the energy system itself, its framework and components; they include, among others, the energy infrastructure, legislative framework, financial incentives, meteorological data, etc. This data allows to build the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), i.e the metrics against which the city will monitor its progress towards its sustainable energy planning goals;
  • Data for the elaboration of scenarios on future energy consumption and production trends, mainly addressing renewable energy and energy saving potential.


The guidelines also include a feedback on the data collection and processing approaches implemented in the cities of Bolzano and Innsbruck, and analyse the main difficulties and limits experienced in this framework.