In the EU’s revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a smart readiness indicator (SRI) was introduced as an energy efficiency activity to promote smart ready technologies (SRT) in the building sector. The proposed methodology is based on the evaluation of building services and how they contribute on SRT. The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of the SRI to cold climate countries in Northern Europe. The Northern European countries are an interesting test environment for the indicator because of their advanced information and communication technology and high building energy consumption profiles. The findings imply that regardless of the SRI’s conceptualization as a system oriented (smart grid) approach, in its current form, it was not able to recognize the specific features of cold climate buildings, specifically those employing advanced district heating (DH) systems. Another, more practical, implication of the study was that due to the subjective nature of the proposed process for selecting SRI relevant building services, the applicability of SRI as a fair rating system across the EU member states is problematic.
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