Public awareness and appeal of Smart Local Energy Systems

‘Public awareness and appeal of Smart Local Energy Systems’ is one of three reports by Energy Systems Catapult evaluating 13 smart local energy system (SLES) projects funded by Innovate UK’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PfER) challenge.

This report presents the findings on the public acceptance of SLES. It evaluates potential SLES propositions based upon two nationally representative surveys, conducted in January 2021 and October 2022, and explores the experience of domestic users taking part in PfER projects.

The nationally representative surveys were conducted in January 2021 (n=3,019) and October 2022 (n=3,009) and explored public awareness and attitudes towards SLES. The appeal of a genericised SLES proposition and five specific service propositions were assessed: generating power, using power, home heating, transport services and charging services. The PfER demonstrator projects were evaluated based on set user experience metrics, with most delivering a good service across the board and some even achieving best-in-class service.

The other Catapult reports in this series are:

  • Why Smart Local Energy Systems?
  • Bills and Carbon Impact of SLES

What is a Smart Local Energy System?

A Smart Local Energy System (SLES) is a way to bring together different energy assets in a local area and make them operate in a smarter way. They could be connected physically (e.g. a solar farm powering a housing development) or digitally (e.g. a virtual energy marketplace). They will help a local area decarbonise more quickly and cost effectively, and can deliver wider social and economic value for communities.

Find out more

Key findings:

  • The public wants to see more action from the government on supporting greener, more secure and affordable energy supplies.
  • Trust in the energy sector has deteriorated significantly and must be rebuilt to unlock support for Net Zero innovation.
  • Knowledge of SLES has fallen from 19% to 3%, with few believing that there is much local or national activity to promote SLES.
  • Appeal in the general idea of SLES has increased and more than half would get involved within 5 years if SLES were on offer.
  • Awareness and appeal in PfER project areas is greater than in the rest of the UK, making trials good ambassadors for SLES.
  • SLES propositions that featured power generation services were the most appealing, while transport- specific services were the least popular.
  • Delays in fixing issues for consumers or not resolving them completely can affect the overall satisfaction with SLES projects.

Read the Report

Public awareness and appeal of Smart Local Energy Systems

Net Zero Places

We empower and advise Local Authorities, Network Operators, and Central & Devolved Governments to take Net Zero action… mobilising the plans, projects, processes and partners you need to decarbonise local areas.

Find out more

Want to know more?

Find out more about how Energy Systems Catapult can help you and your teams