14 November 2012
A £3 million research project, led by environment consultant PRP, in collaboration with the UCL Energy Institute, will lead to a comprehensive behavioural study involving householders focused on heat and energy consumption in the UK.
The study – which will involve thousands of householders - is part of the Energy Technologies Institute’s (ETI) £100 million Smart Systems and Heat (SSH) technology programme launched in April by the Prime Minister, David Cameron. The aim of the programme is to design and demonstrate the first of its kind smart energy system in the UK.
The ETI commissioned and funded research will provide insight into consumer requirements for heat and energy. The project is needed to help answer questions as to how consumer demand for energy and heat (in particular space heating and hot water) can best be met. The solutions developed by the project will inform the development of future energy products and services targeted at consumer requirements. The findings will help determine further system design work by the ETI in the first phase of the programme.
Professor Tadj Oreszczyn, Director of the UCL Energy Institute, said: 'The UCL Energy Institute is excited about working on such an important project as a part of a multi-disciplinary consortium. The Smart Systems and Heat Technology programme has the potential to change the way that future smart energy systems are designed.'
The UCL Energy Institute and PRP will both be assisted by Frontier Economics, The Technology Partnership and The Peabody Trust. The consumer engagement work will be carried out by National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and Hitachi, an associate on the ETI programme, will also contribute to the project’s delivery.
The ETI is focused on the acceleration of the development of affordable, secure and sustainable technologies that will help the UK meet its legally binding 2050 climate change targets. Rebecca Sweeney, ETI Project Manager, said: “The ETI’s national energy modelling work identifies more efficient use of energy as an immediate development priority for the UK. This research will ultimately help to identify trends in real mass-market consumer behaviour, requirements and profiles in order to help us in our goal to design and communicate an effective smart energy system design for the UK market.”