Connected Response

Connected Response offer a range of control and metering technologies to deliver flexibility services that match renewal generation with electricity demand.

The Glasgow-based firm develop systems for new builds or to retrofit storage heaters, heat pump metering and monitoring control, aggregation services and real time metering for community energy projects. Connected Response has a range of products and systems to provide real time control with cloud connectivity.

The Challenge

There are 1.5 million homes in Great Britain that have electric storage heating and hot water systems, many of which are in the social housing sector. Storage heaters work by drawing electricity over the course of a few hours at night and storing it as heat in a ‘bank’ of ceramic bricks to use the following day.

Households with electric storage heating tend to be on Economy 7 tariffs, which give cheaper rates during the night and more expensive rates during the day. Lack of control and lack of innovative tariffs results in a poor experience, with rooms too hot during the night and heaters fully discharging before the evening, with tenants resorting to using plug in electric fires, wearing coats or going to bed early to stay warm.

The Innovation

Connected Response fights fuel poverty by designing, manufacturing, and supplying low cost retrofittable intelligent charger controllers and temperature sensors, that deliver a greatly improved experience by enabling tenants to choose when they want to be warm and how warm they want to be: with potentially significant savings to heating bills.

While the landlord saves money by avoiding the costly installation of new heating systems and increases tenant satisfaction.

Connected Response has been exploring new consumer led service propositions and wanted to access our Consumer Insight expertise to prepare for a trial of a Comfort-as-a-Service proposition in the West Midlands.

Comfort-as-a-Service allows consumers to choose how much to spend on the experience they want — feeling warm and comfortable, when and where they want in their homes — instead of paying for kilowatt hours of energy.

The Solution

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Energy Launchpad that draws on our capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The Energy Launchpad provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.

Energy Launchpad’s Acceleration programme provides scale-up support for selected high-impact potential SMEs, including Business Model development and validation, Access to demonstration environments like the “Living Lab”, Engagement with potential corporate customers, Investment Readiness and Partnership, Access to International opportunities and Investment partners.

Energy Launchpad – Acceleration

Energy Systems Catapult and its partners delivered:

  • Market Insight: Connected Response worked with us to understand the market opportunity with registered providers of social housing, and how best to access the market.
  • Business Model Innovation: We explored the potential of offering service-based contracts for smart storage heaters, providing warmth for guaranteed prices rather than buying kilowatt-hours. These insights were used to generate several propositions related to outcome-based services for the social housing provider market.
  • Consumer Insight and Proposition Design: The customer journey was mapped to understand how these shortlisted propositions could be trialled and delivered, and factors to consider including what hardware would be required and the prospective customer experience.
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The Impact

Connected Response were supported to validate their market opportunity, their approach to entering the market and to prepare to trial the Comfort-as-a-Service model.

Taking the Comfort-as-a-Service concept to market still requires energy suppliers to embrace it, however the market research we carried out helped to create awareness that it can be done with electric storage heating.

Connected Response valued the combination of our expertise, relevant support, and independence.

Our support has helped Connected Response to:

  • Increase their knowledge of the market and competitive options
  • Improve their business strategy, particularly the Comfort- as-a-Service model
  • Better understand consumer behaviour and motivation.

Update December 2021:

Warmworks Scotland LLP announced the acquisition of Connected Response Ltd in a deal that will help thousands of households across the country that are in, or are at risk of, fuel poverty to stay warm in their homes through innovative heating solutions, offering the opportunity for important savings on fuel usage and energy bills.

Warmworks was set up in 2015 as a joint venture between Energy Saving Trust, Changeworks and Everwarm. Following the organisation’s successful delivery of the Scottish Government’s fuel poverty scheme, Warmer Homes Scotland – which has seen Warmworks support almost 25,000 households across Scotland to heat their home at a more affordable cost – the three partners are investing in the acquisition of Connected Response Ltd as part of Warmworks’ ongoing commitment to supporting a just transition to Net Zero, and widening access to innovative technologies for homes that are in, or at risk of, fuel poverty.

Energy Launchpad & International

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