The operation of the system is based

AcknowledgementsThis study was undertaken as part of the European Pro-Tide project, funded by NWE-Interreg, on the feasibility of low head tidal and river energy. The authors wish to thank the Pro-Tide Consortium ( for their financial support. The authors also wish to thank Jacob van Berkel for the valuable discussion of results.
Energy conscious communities; Energy labs; Stakeholders' involvement; Sustainable communities
1. Introduction
Energy system sustainability is a demanding challenge that SYR322 should be faced by EU and local governments with coordinated efforts so as to cope with multiple aspects concerning both energy and environmental themes (e.g. energy independence and security, climate change mitigation, environmental quality) [1]. In this framework, energy efficiency and renewable source deployment represent key priorities. Moreover, social awareness is fundamental to foster significant behavioural changes, and the diffusion of new and more efficient technologies, such as energy-conscious communities, can drive local energy systems towards a low-carbon configuration [2].