Innovating beyond retail: reaching Net Zero consumer energy

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Innovating beyond retail: reaching Net Zero consumer energy

Energy retail – how we buy energy to use in our homes and businesses – is of huge importance for how we meet our Net Zero targets. Getting it right could help consumers save money, improve the services they get from energy, and cut carbon: from making homes more energy efficient to making better use of intermittent renewable energy. Getting it wrong could leave us more reliant on delivering new capital-intensive infrastructure to meet our carbon budgets, escalating costs for consumers.

To unlock the vision of a pro-innovation, pro-consumer energy retail sector, we need to take a holistic approach that goes beyond retail: beyond the current familiar business models; beyond the confines of traditional “energy retail policy” to think about its interaction with the whole energy system; beyond siloed, binary policy decision-making to an approach which embraces experimentation and welcomes new technologies and niche innovators.

Key findings

Drawing from Energy Systems Catapult’s analysis and insights, we have identified six challenges that must be addressed for an enhanced energy retail ecosystem:

  • Incentives are misaligned
  • Market entry barriers are high
  • The system remains dumb
  • Unfair outcomes could derail Net Zero
  • Consumers don’t have access to the right information
  • Slow policy and regulatory change limits innovation

Effective change requires action and iteration. We have identified both recommendations for immediate action, as well as key opportunities for further research to inform future decision-making. Download the report to read more.

Mary Starks, VP of Regulation, Risk and Policy at OVO said:

“This report by Energy Systems Catapult raises important issues around helping customers to access cheaper, greener energy, which is something that we fully support.”

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Innovating beyond energy retail - Tom Luff

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Markets, Policy & Regulation

Independent and technology-agnostic thought leadership tackling the hardest challenges on the way to Net Zero

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