Harnessing innovation to better understand and reduce vulnerability to fuel poverty, designing smarter policies, products, services and consumer protections

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Innovating to end fuel poverty in vulnerable households

Fair Futures explores the opportunities for innovation to address fuel poverty, and better understand the issues faced by vulnerable energy consumer groups in the UK.

Fair Futures aims to identify the areas where commercial, governmental, community and household living needs and motivations could be aligned to provide more effective policies, products and services.

In order to understand how to design and deliver services to consumers facing difficulties with low household incomes and the high cost of adequate energy in their homes, Energy Systems Catapult is trying to better understand what people need and want from energy in their home.

This could decrease the risk of undertaking innovation, for both businesses and consumers, and could be applied to developing new propositions, improving customer handling procedures and meeting new policy obligations and changes.

Increase your market

Increase your consumer market by gaining greater insight of vulnerable customers’ needs and challenges when developing innovative new products and services.

Decrease risk

Decrease the risk of undertaking innovation, when developing new propositions, improving customer handling procedures and meeting new policy obligations and changes.

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How to work with us

Energy Systems Catapult provides technical, commercial and policy expertise to drive innovation across the whole energy system.

Our independent and technology-agnostic approach, has built a trusted track record in delivering thought leadership, collaborative R&D and commercial commissioning.

Providing a range of capabilities, tools and labs – from world class Net Zero modelling and cutting-edge systems engineering – through to digital and data science and real-world innovation trials that drive start-ups to success.

Commission us

Supporting energy companies and networks, industrial sites and commercial businesses to navigate to Net Zero.

Collaborate with us

Supporting government, local authorities and innovators to create the new policies, markets, business models and technologies we need to deliver Net Zero.

Case Studies

Low Income and Vulnerable (LIV) consumers

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), along with energy regulator Ofgem commissioned a study to review how innovation could enable Low Income and Vulnerable (LIV) consumers to participate in a smart, flexible energy market.

This may include new technologies and appliances in consumers’ homes, access to smarter tariffs, interaction with a broader range of service providers and new infrastructure in their local area, such as: smart metering, demand-side flexibility, electric vehicles, electric heat pumps and domestic energy storage.

These changes to the energy system raise a core concern about whether low income and vulnerable consumers could be less willing and less able to access, purchase and use smart energy products and services.

The review summarised evidence to answer the following questions:

  1. How do low-income and vulnerable consumers participate in a smart energy market? What barriers prevent their participation?
  2. Does existing innovation activity help them engage in this market?
  3. How will new innovation activity ensure they are engaged in this market?
  4. How could innovation put them at the forefront of the smart energy transition?
  5. What risks could emerge when, and how could innovation prevent them?
  6. Where should future innovation focus?

Commission us

Helping innovators decrease the risk of developing and commercialising innovative new products, services and business models.

Contact us

Collaborate with us

Helping governments, regulators, businesses and consumer advocates to better understand and reduce vulnerability to fuel poverty, by designing smarter consumer protections for policies, regulations and innovations.

Contact us

Want to know more?

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