Consumer Insight

Introduction

Consumers should be at the heart of transforming the UK energy system to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions.

Energy Systems Catapult offers a range of Consumer Insight assets and expertise that combines cutting-edge data science, user-experience design thinking and in-depth consumer research to help innovators see beyond what people say and understand what they do.

We help energy innovators to accelerate products, services and business models to market with research, design and consumer trials in real-world homes.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable, requires innovators to develop appealing energy products and services that consumer are willing to purchase.

Many industries have been transformed in recent years by technology and digitalisation, with sectors such as transport and travel, TV/media, retail and banking, gaining a deep understanding of consumer needs and values. But the energy sector lags behind.

Few energy consumers understand or can accurately explain how they use energy in their everyday lives. Even people who want the same outcomes from energy, like getting warm and comfortable at home, or charging their car to be ready for work the following day, may go about it in entirely different ways.

Lack of consumer insight is already challenging the energy sector. The forces of decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation, will further challenge innovators to put consumers at the heart of their product and service development.

Our Assets

Our Consumer Insight team offers a number of assets:



Research – understand consumers so you can design better services. Gather consumer data that persuades investors and policy makers.

  • Bespoke blends of qualitative and quantitative market research
  • Feedback from our Home Truths panel, which includes thousands of consumers and growing
  • Multi-client studies co-funded by innovators.


 



Design – an in-house team to help innovators develop testable prototypes including:

  • User experience (UX) design for consumer experiences that are intuitive to learn and delightful to use;
  • Service design to set up the systems and processes to deliver service excellence; and
  • Business model tools to optimise the commercial logic.


 



Trial – enabling innovators to rapidly market test product and service innovations in the real-world through:

  • A Living Lab of 100 real-world homes connected to a cloud-based digital platform & in-home sensors;
  • Trials designed to gather high-value data; and
  • An integrated team of consumer researchers and data scientists to populate business cases.


Our Approach

Energy Systems Catapult’s Consumer Insight team has distilled the lessons from over 670 academic publications on energy behaviour, thermal comfort and decision science, and developed expertise and assets to help innovators research, design and test solutions in real-world homes.

Our Consumer Insight team offers expertise and specialisms to help:

  • Home Energy Use – provide better understanding of how lifestyle choices shapes energy use;
  • Consumer Segmentation – 10,000 consumers segmented into seven heat groups and 2,000 households providing a quantified appraisal of products and services;
  • Digital Design – improving the user experience for energy products and energy services to add value to people’s lives;
  • Trials – testing products, services and business models in the real-world;
  • Consumer data – gathering compelling data that helps inform investors, policy-makers and regulators.