Living Lab

Energy Systems Catapult’s Living Lab is open for innovation trials now.

The Living Lab is a unique real-world trial facility of 100 connected homes, where innovative businesses can rapidly design, market-test and launch smart energy products and services.

What is the Living Lab?

The Living Lab is made up of 100 homes spread across Newcastle, Manchester, South Wales and the West Midlands.

All homes are owner-occupied with a range of building types and occupancy, including:

  • All have smart heating controls and sensors, connected to a cloud-based digital platform,
  • Some homes have air source heat pumps installed alongside gas boilers, most have regular gas boilers,
  • Smart meter integration is available.

Since 2016, Energy Systems Catapult has been developing unparalleled insights into running energy services trials in real-world homes, undertaking detailed analysis of the vast array of consumer and technical data captured.

Expert teams from across the Catapult, including Consumer Insight, Digital & Data, and Systems Integration can help innovators rapidly design, market-test and launch smart energy products and services in the Living Lab.

How can the Living Lab help you?

There are a number of benefits to trialling in the Living Lab:

  • Better understand – how people use your product/service and how well it works,
  • Improve – your offering using feedback from real consumers,
  • Save time – our 100 homes are ready to go,
  • Value for money – you don’t need to build a lab of your own.

What can you trial in the Living Lab?

Energy providers, device manufacturers and technology companies can trial a range of products and services a proven, government-backed 100-home test bed.

Energy Services

The Living Lab allows innovators to learn how to sell energy as a service with real consumers. Industry has been talking about energy as a service for years, but few companies have developed a market proposition – the Living Lab changes that.

Uniquely, you can market-test smart energy services through our digital, online marketplace. As these are real homes, we will offer your service or product to residents in a market trial – a great way to find out if people like your offer and what they might be willing to pay for it.

You will learn:

  • Who buys your service offering and why (and who doesn’t and why not) including consumer demographics,
  • How much consumers are willing to pay for your service and how they use it, and
  • What it costs you to serve them.

Energy Products

If you are developing or selling products (eg. heating devices), we can offer them to real homes and learn about how consumers use them.

You will learn:

  • What consumers like about your product and how much they are
    willing to pay,
  • Insights into how consumers use your product and how it performs in a real-world home environment (eg. how fast does it warm rooms up, is it cheaper/better with your product than before, what is the overall impact on homes and consumers).

What else can we help with?

We want to accelerate your innovation from idea to impact with the least effort. To help you we have a range of additional services, such as:

  • Online market research,
  • Energy service design,
  • Data exploration and analysis,
  • Data science support/algorithm development,
  • Policy and regulatory advice.