Independent consumer experts helping innovators – large and small – see beyond what people say to understand what they do

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Putting consumers at the heart of the Net Zero energy transition

People are different, especially when it comes to energy. They want different things and do different things to get what they want. Our consumer experts use technology and experts technique to see beyond what people say to understand what they do

We work with energy companies and product manufacturers, government and local authorities, consumer advocates and cutting edge innovators to ensure people are at the heart of the Net Zero transition.

Energy Systems Catapult supports businesses to flourish by helping design and test innovative service propositions and business models with real consumers.

We also support local places in gaining the support of local people, so they can take real action on the climate emergency.

And we work with businesses, policy-makers, regulators and consumer champions to ensure inclusion and protection for the most vulnerable as we transform the economy to achieve net zero.

Consumer Research

Understanding consumers is vital to designing better products and services. We can help you gather consumer data that persuades investors and policy makers. Offering a blends of qualitative and quantitative research, our Home Truths panel, and growing multi-client studies co-funded by innovators.

Service Design

We can help you design services, including a testable prototype with systems, processes and a user experience (UX) that is intuitive to learn and delightful to use – supported by business model tools to optimise the commercial logic and make better business decisions.

Consumer Trials

Enabling innovators to rapidly market test product and service innovations with focus groups or trials in a real-world Living Lab of over 1,700 homes, with consumer experts and data scientists

What we offer

Energy Systems Catapult combines cutting-edge data science, user-experience design thinking and in-depth consumer research.

Case Studies

Accelerating a Virtual Power Plant to market

Manchester-based Evergreen Smart Power are an innovative Virtual Power Plant business, aggregating and controlling domestic energy loads resulting from electric vehicles (EVs) and heating to suit specific customer, market, generation and grid conditions.

Evergreen’s EV solution can respond to grid conditions, moving charging to off-peak hours to reduce strain on the network at peak times, while ensuring that EVs are sufficiently charged when needed. The solution also optimises other loads, such as heat pumps and electric heaters.

Energy Launchpad helped Evergreen develop their future roadmap through competitive landscaping, consumer insights/trial and detailed analysis with our Business Model Innovation team. This examined alternative target markets and revenue streams. Outputs were developed to be used for pitches to future investors.

Following this incubation support, Energy Systems Catapult then helped Evergreen develop and deliver a follow-on test & demonstration project called Flexibly-Responsive Energy Delivery with 250 consumers driving and smart-charging EVs at home – supported by our Consumer Insight team.

Evergreen Smart Power Co-Founder Andy McKay said: “Prior to this piece of work we had one main product. In effect this has identified two new product variants that address innovative opportunities and other areas that will move quicker than our long term market. This will translate into 3 separate platforms requiring separate teams.

“Energy Launchpad has allowed us to tap into a wide range of energy sector industry expertise with a support package tailored to our specific needs. It’s an opportunity every energy start-up would benefit from.”

Watch the case study:

How to work with us

We are not-for-profit, independent and technology-agnostic – building a trusted track record of delivering thought leadership, collaborative R&D and commercial commissions – so are uniquely placed to take on the challenges that others cannot tackle.

Collaborate with us: We work with partners from the public and private sectors to secure funding and collectively deliver the innovation projects and thought leadership that tackle the hardest challenges in the way to Net Zero.

Commission us: We offer independent support, evidence and insights – with technical, commercial and policy expertise – to identify and deliver Net Zero innovation priorities. Then actively support clients to develop actionable plans for implementation.

Contact us

If you are interested in working with us, contact us by completing the form and one of the team will be in touch.

Contact us

Want to know more?

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