A £2.75m Programme - Inclusive Smart Solutions - backed by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, which aims to identify and overcome the barriers faced by Low Income and Vulnerable (LIV) consumers to engage in UK’s future smart, flexible energy system, was launched yesterday.
Innovative products and services designed to aid the transition could exacerbate or introduce new barriers for LIV consumers, limiting their participation in a smart, flexible energy system.
The Inclusive Smart Solutions (ISS) programme will be led by the Energy Systems Catapult with support from the Carbon Trust and IPSOS. It is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s £65m Flexibility Innovation Programme, part of the UK Government’s £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which provides funding for low carbon technologies and systems.
The ISS programme will be delivered in two phases of work between September 2023 and March 2025.
Phase 1 will focus on conducting primary research with LIV consumers to maximise the understanding of their needs and existing barriers. The research insights will inform the development of innovative solutions for LIV consumers. This will be delivered alongside the ‘Open Innovation’ selection process, to identify up to four innovative solutions from both inside and outside the energy sector.
The Carbon Trust will lead the ‘Open Innovation’ call, leveraging its experience running large government-funded innovation programmes such as the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA), as well as assisting with Acceleration Support for the selected innovators later in the programme.
As part of Phase 1, the Catapult – supported by the Carbon Trust – is launching a ‘Request for Information for the Inclusive Smart Solutions Delivery Team’ today, open until 29 October 2023, 23:59 GMT. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to get input from a range of stakeholders (industry, technology developers, energy networks, academia, research institutions, and others) into:
- The existing and potential solutions for consumers who might otherwise struggle to participate in the emerging smart and flexible energy system.
- The specific barriers LIV consumers might face, and the targeted solutions being developed to address them.
The information provided will be used to generate market insight into existing innovations and solutions, as well as barriers that have been identified by stakeholders already operating in this space.
We are looking for innovations that unlock potential for - and support - future innovation for the LIV consumer market and affect all demand-side vectors and supply-side technologies.
Notes to editors:
Project Lead: Energy Systems Catapult
Project participants: Ipsos Mori, The Carbon Trust, TPX Impact
LIV consumers mean all energy consumers for whom an accessibility, usability or affordability issue may exist or arise in the transition to a smart, flexible energy system, making it disproportionately challenging for these consumers to benefit from new technologies, markets and business models.