Innovation in digitalisation and data science is crucial to transforming the UK energy system to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions.
Energy Systems Catapult has created a a cloud-based digital platform with advanced data science and machine learning algorithms that connects to a Living Lab of real-world consumer homes. This Home Energy Services Gateway aims to help innovators develop new products, services and business models and trial them directly with consumers.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable, will be driven as much by the growing market for digitalisation and data, as by legislated carbon reduction targets.
One of the biggest challenges is decarbonising how we heat our homes. If we are to meet our 2050 carbon reduction targets we need to be transforming one million homes a year to low carbon heat by 2025 – currently only about 20,000 homes installed low carbon heating annually.
There is a growing consensus that to overcome the barriers to energy system transformation, particularly with heat, we need to put consumers at the heart of the system. The telecoms sector has used market feedback to decide what networks and how much capacity to build. This has revealed consumers are willing to pay for unlimited broadband access and mobile coverage. Similar techniques could help the energy sector decide how to transform the system.
Energy Systems Catapult has created a cloud-based digital platform called the Home Energy Services Gateway (HESG), providing smart home connectivity for heating that will be common by the middle of 2020s.
HESG is an open, technology agnostic platform linked to extensive in-home IoT sensors/actuators, and uses advanced data science and machine learning algorithms, that produce on over four million data points per home per day.
HESG provides residents with room-by-room temperature control from a mobile app and offers interoperability between energy providers and device manufacturers, enabling them to test new products, services and business models directly with consumers.
Energy Systems Catapult has created a Living Lab of over 100 real-world homes spread across the UK, with each property connected to HESG.
The Living Lab allows proof of concept tests to understand consumer expectations and real-world behaviour. It can also help define and price innovative new business models for energy provision, such as “thermal comfort” and “energy services”.
Experts from across the Catapult in Consumer Insight, Digital and Data, Systems Integration can help innovators design, develop and run trials in the Living Lab to discover how people use energy in the home and the potential of emerging energy services and energy products.