SSH2: Enabling domestic interoperability

Published: 4 July 2019

Introduction

Decarbonising heat is the biggest challenge the UK faces in terms of transforming the energy system to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve our clean growth ambitions.

Energy Systems Catapult is delivering the UK’s largest smart, consumer-focused project aimed at overcoming the barriers to the decarbonisation of residential heat – the Smart Systems and Heat (SSH) programme.

SSH Phase 2 (2017-2019) focused on running consumer trials of smart energy services, exploring new business models and market structures (including interoperability) and developing Local Area Energy Plans within three local authorities areas. SSH2 was funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

 

Interoperability is the ability of a product or system to cooperate with other products or systems to share resources. Interoperability can be achieved through standards, conventions, voluntary agreements and/or agreed conventions. It is not necessarily about defining technical specifications and mandating specific protocols, etc..

In Energy Systems, the drive towards interoperability is to ensure that technology, businesses and services are compatible with one another; such that, where feasible and appropriate, any consumer can use any of their appliances, with any service provider or retailer to access any service.​

Key points

During 2017 and 2018 we carried out a field trial with a unique Living Lab of 108 households, as well as desk-based research activities. This insight-paper summarises what we learned about:

  • Different aspects of interoperability;
  • The extent to which different businesses might implement interoperability; and
  • The values and opportunities presented through interoperability.