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Socially Green qualitative research

hands holding a smart energy meter

Delivering flexibility services for hard-to-reach or vulnerable domestic energy consumers.

This report supports policy and research about flexibility services to make sure they are accessible to vulnerable consumers. Flexibility services include personalised advice about adopting flexibility services, battery storage, and using surplus renewable energy for water heating.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) conducted qualitative research that explored the views of:

We asked domestic energy consumers at risk of fuel poverty or with a vulnerability (e.g., with a disability, private tenants) about their needs and preferences for flexibility services. Flexibility service providers told us how they currently engage with vulnerable consumers and what would enable them to expand their services to these consumers.

Key findings from our research

Piloting a flexibility service with vulnerable consumers

This market engagement research informed the design of a pilot flexibility service with vulnerable consumers which took place in Autumn 2023. The aim was to use the market engagement trial results to inform UK Power Networks’ procurement of future flexibility services. The objective of the trial was to target hard-to-reach customers to help deliver against UK Power Networks’ strategic priority of ensuring no one is left behind in the energy transition, with a specific project focus on delivering inclusive flexibility services for these customers. The pilot project focused on exploring the feasibility of procuring flexibility from hard-to-reach customers through the installation of energy efficiency measures, whilst providing these customers with small energy efficiency measures, alongside flexibility support and education.

Ensuring that everyone can participate in and benefit from a smart and flexible energy system is a key part of CSE’s mission. Find out more about our Smart and Fair programme here.

The Socially Green project is led by Sia partners and funded by UK Power Networks

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