Many of today's European power systems are influenced by the deregulated energy market. Although demand and supply result in free prices and customers are free to choose their supplier, the flow of information and motivation does not reach the end customer. Optimization is done on the energy spot market, and customers usually cannot benefit from the freedom and chances the free energy market offers. By means of information and automation technology, the IRON (integral resource optimization network) project tries to increase this flow of information. Every member of an energy distribution network — distributed generation, end customer, etc. — should be able to actively take part in the energy business. Currently, only big power plants are "networked" and coordinate their behavior, according to the demand and market situation. New trends and ideas in the energy business require a more detailed network, the IRON project started to investigate the technical feasibility of such networks.