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Outcomes from the ‘Recosting Energy: Services for Customers, Fit for Net Zero’ Webinar

On the 7th of June 2021, Energy Systems Catapult hosted the ‘Recosting Energy: Services for Customers, Fit for Net Zero’ webinar. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm on the call and in the chat for creating new energy services for consumers.  We wanted to thank in particular James Williams (Sero), Julian Wiley (Social Energy), Matt Robson (BEIS) and Jemma Baker (Ofgem) for participating in the event.

With the energy sector changing so quickly, we heard how regulatory arrangements designed decades ago are struggling to keep up. Without swift action, we will continue to see novel consumer propositions being stifled or re-shaped to fit in with the old way of doing things.

Our Five S’s for Improving Customer Services

We certainly learnt a lot from the input from the panel and also the audience.  Some of the key challenges that we felt came through included:

  • Stop: selling kWh as no one understands them (even us energy experts) and in future the bill will depend more on when you use energy, not how many units you use
  • Start: enabling companies to offer decarbonisation assets and comfort & savings services
  • Switch: from expecting consumers to manage complexity to enabling retailers to do it instead
  • Save: ensure that business models were able to make money by saving energy
  • Soon: need for change soon to the rules and regulations to unlock the full potential of services

Challenges

There is however some work that needs to be done to truly unlock these services.  Our panellists focused on 4 key barriers and these are the key themes that we will focus on for our follow up work, working with BEIS and Ofgem and many of you:

  • Review the Supplier License: The confines of the supplier license precluded wider innovation and costs consumers £70 per year with little perceived value
  • New Consumer Protection Regulation:  Learning from other sectors, new consumer protection measures need to be applied to these new business models
  • Tighten up on Greenwashing:  There is far too much gaming in the energy sector
  • Ensure total value flows to consumers:  Limited rewards consumers for demand-side actions

Living Lab

You can also test out your innovative energy product or service with real customers through the Living Lab.   If you have an exciting service idea you want to move forward and would like to explore how to do that, let us know. We can work with you to help you get consumer feedback and data analysis to help refine your proposition, de-risk roll-out and give you confidence in consumer appeal. We can also work closely with you to help identify suitable funding streams to support the work. Contact us on livinglab@es.catapult.org.uk

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'Recosting Energy: Services for Customers, Fit for Net Zero’ Webinar

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