Digitalisation and the adoption of appliances like electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps are opening the door to new ways for consumers to interact with the electricity system.

The flexibility of these appliances could play an important role in maintaining the balance in an energy system that encompasses a high amount of intermittent renewables and a decreasing amount of thermal generation. At the same time, they could offer end consumers the opportunity to capitalise on moments when there are high amounts of renewables in the gird and lower their energy bills.

However, the large-scale participation of small flexibility assets like EVs and heat pumps is not yet happening. One key reason for this is that the current market design includes several barriers which prevent their active participation.

This led Elia Group to publish our vision on a Consumer-Centric Market Design (CCMD).



Registration Kick-off Sprint Pitches Pitches from the two runners-up
Now until 01/10/2021 11 October 2021
16h30 – 18h (online)
13 to 15 October 2021
(in person)

15 October 2021
(in person)

19 October 2021
Register your team  Plenary session during which we will inform you about the ins and outs of the hackathon
3 days to develop your solution for one of the challenges A mixed jury composed of judges from Elia Group and judges from external companies will listen to your pitches. 
In addition to visiting one of Elia Group’s sites, the winner will be given the opportunity to develop their project over a 14-week period with Elia Group’s digital laboratory: The Nest. Two runners-up will also be selected.
The runners-up will be invited to pitch their project virtually to The Nest on 19 October. One of these two teams will then be invited to develop their idea over a 14-week period at Elia Group.



Key information to keep in mind: two changes to the current market design are proposed under the CCMD, as follows.

  • The first of these is the development of a so-called ‘Exchange of Energy Blocks’ hub through which the exchange of energy would occur on a fifteen-minute basis between consumers and other market parties.
  • The second is the introduction of a real-time price signal, which would give households a reference for their consumption and the value of services offered by third parties.

Note: the outlines of each challenge below may change slightly before the start of the hackathon. The descriptions are meant to give you a quick overview of what we will be looking for for each of them!

List of all challenges

  • Challenge 1: Helping consumers select the right service providers

    Currently, energy consumers can use websites to compare offers from different providers and switch to one which can give them a better deal for their energy consumption.

    Under the CCMD, consumers will be able to choose different providers at appliance level - they might use provider X for their electric vehicle, for example, provider Y for their heat pump, and provider Z for the rest of their energy consumption. Consumers will need to be supported to make sound decisions about which providers to sign contracts with under this new model - they will need help to analyse their own energy consumption data and decide which offers make most sense for them.

    What will we expect from you?
    Your team will need to develop a tool that supports consumers to get the most out of their energy data and lower their energy bills.

  • Challenge 2: Enhancing the Solar to You (S2Y) app

    Since the launch of the CCMD, Elia has been working on use cases to test out different applications that could be introduced if it is implemented. One of these, S2Y, is an app that explores how to enable prosumers to sell the excess solar energy they produce to other consumers or the market. It helps visualise possible transactions between prosumers and consumers, including what they will be selling and buying, when, and at what price. The app has the potential to include a lot more information that households involved in such transactions would find valuable.

    What will we expect from you?
    Your team will need to come up with different bits of data that could be included in S2Y - be creative, the data does not need to be solely linked to energy.

  • Challenge 3: Predicting how much energy consumers will need.

    If the CCMD is implemented, consumers are likely to have contracts with different suppliers for different flexible appliances they own (like EVs or heat pumps) and a contract with a supplier for the rest of their energy use (for non-flexible appliances, like their fridge, for example).

    Energy suppliers who wish to offer contracts to consumers will need to estimate how much energy their customers will be producing, consuming or injecting back into the grid based on their particular profiles and the flexible appliances they own.

    What will we expect from you?
    Your team will need to design a solution that could enable energy suppliers to predict how much their customers will need to use non-flexible energy - better estimations will mean lower risks for suppliers and cheaper bills for consumers.

  • Challenge 4: Making smart homes a reality

    If the CCMD is implemented, consumers will begin to engage with different service providers at appliance level and monitor and optimise their energy consumption patterns. In future, smart homes will be able to automate this process, balancing variables like lowering consumers’ energy costs, using electricity when there are large amounts of renewables in the grid and finding the right time to sell the excess energy they produce.

    What will we expect from you?
    Your team will need to develop a solution which could be used by smart homes to automate this process.

  • Challenge 5: Facilitating smart communities

    We want to ensure the CCMD will include all types of consumers: from house owners or renters with the space for a heat pump or solar panels to individuals living in apartments without the space for such appliances.

    What will we expect from you?
    Your team will need to develop ways that consumers without the space for flexibility assets in their homes can take part in energy communities and so the energy transition - what will a platform of this kind look like?

Jury and Experts

  • Chris Peeters – CEO of Elia Group
  • Michael von Roeder – CDO of Elia Group
  • David Zenner - Head of Consumer Centricity at Elia
  • Alexandre Torreele - CEO of re.alto
  • Jean-Jacques Delmée - CEO of Eneco Belgium
  • Knut Hechfischer - CEO of Decarbonize
  • Dr Wolfgang Lippert - Director Field Sales at Google



Reservations are now closed, please in case you have any questions.

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