Alternative Energy Markets Innovation Portfolio report

Unlocking new sources of electricity system flexibility will be vital to manage the integration of intermittent renewable generation and help meet Net Zero targets while keeping down bills. This project developed and tested innovative retail propositions against a range of 2030 market scenarios in order to identify how to best elicit flexibility from households, with a view to informing consumer trials in the near future.

The Alternative Energy Markets Innovation Programme (AEMIP) was launched by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and aims to support innovative demand side flexibility propositions in a future energy system. Phase 1 is supporting the design of innovative tariffs, products or services (demand side flexibility propositions) under alternative energy market scenarios of a future energy system.

Working as a collaboration between Energy Systems Catapult, OVO Energy and CEPA, the project brought together a wide range of expertise and experience from across the energy sector and built on existing work such as the Catapult’s Clean Energy Retail report and OVO’s retail propositions, such as Power Move and Shift & Save.

“Design thinking” was used to develop the propositions, identifying core principles to underpin ideation and create propositions that would be appealing to consumers. The market scenarios provided by DESNZ were an input into the design-led approach but did not specifically shape individual propositions – we then mapped the propositions to the market scenarios, to ensure that they were compatible and relevant. We believe that this approach led to a broader range of proposition ideas that were innovative and clearly rooted in consumer need.

Through structured workshopping, over 100 consumer proposition ideas were identified to unlock flexibility, with nine propositions prioritised to test with consumers and assess against feasibility criteria. Five proposition ideas were explored as part of this project:

  • Have A Green Day – a digital platform that empowers consumers to optimise their household activities to access the greenest energy and the lowest possible bill.
  • Smart Shift & Save – by integrating their smart plugs into an intelligent flex system, consumers are rewarded for allowing selected appliances to be turned off when the grid is under pressure.
  • Pay As You Green – targeted at more consumers on pre-payment meters (who more often tend to be in vulnerable situations), this proposition uses an app with a “traffic light” system and push notifications to help shift energy usage away from carbon incentive, expensive or heavy usage times.
  • FlexBat – equips consumers with a mini home battery that stores energy directly from the grid taken during times of more abundant (and cheap) low carbon power and at carbon intensive times it takes over the load.
  • Let’s Get Moving – rewards consumers with a monthly financial reward when they are able to shift their non-essential energy usage out of the daily weekday peak period of 4pm – 7pm, allowing them to save money and carbon.

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Alternative Energy Markets Innovation Portfolio: Phase 1 report

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