£3 million consumer behaviour study into UK energy consumption

Published on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 12:14
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a £3 million research project which 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 ETI's £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.

The consortium will be led by environment consultant PRP, in collaboration with University College London's Energy Institute. Both organisations will 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."

This latest announcement builds on the recent call by the ETI to employ up to three organisations to deliver a three-month project to understand and identify current energy system information and communications technology (ICT) capabilities for smart energy systems.

Source: ©ETI

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