Centre for Net-Zero to develop consumer-centric energy transition model

A new collaboration aims to develop a comprehensive energy transition model that is consumer-centric and smart meter data enabled.

The Centre for Net Zero in partnership with utility Octopus Energy, and researchers at The University of Maryland and The University of Cologne, led by Peter Cramton, will explore how consumer smart meter data can be used to ensure grid stability through various flexibility and demand response use cases in the UK and in the US state of Texas.

The ‘first-of-a-kind’ pilot will use smart meter data from the customers of Octopus Energy to investigate how consumers respond to changes in various market conditions and grid demands. The pilot will focus on consumer responses to prices and related changes in energy use.

The aim is to ensure consumer demands are included in the development and enactment of regulations on energy retail and products. The adoption of consumer-centric energy business models will also help accelerate the energy transition, according to a statement.

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Public adoption of new technologies, like electric vehicles, heat pumps and smart thermostats, offer a huge opportunity to create new sources of flexibility. The research will seek to highlight the benefits to consumers, networks and energy providers of innovation in retail, such as smart energy tariffs. 

The outputs from the first phase of research are expected to be shared ahead of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, later this year. These will inform the next stages of the research, which will likely involve additional global research partners. 

Lucy Yu, CEO of Centre for Net Zero comments: “This research will advance our mission to realise faster, fairer and more affordable routes to net zero. We know that data and digital innovation combined with low carbon technologies can transform energy markets as we seek to rapidly decarbonise. This research will deepen our understanding of the potential for more flexible energy consumption from different types of households, and what this means for a just transition.’ 

Peter Cramton, adds: “Addressing climate change requires decarbonizing electricity. To decarbonize electricity we must engage consumers in adapting demands in response to energy costs, which vary over time and location. Our research will help us understand how innovation in technology and rate plans can benefit consumers in the transition to renewable energy.”