Community energy generation, aggregation and demand shaping (CEGADS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Environmental Change Institute SoGE


The Lower Carbon Futures group at the Environmental Change Institute of the University of Oxford, will conduct surveys
and assess the effects on participants taking part in this project. In particular, we will explore through surveys and focus
groups what motivates participants to get involved in local energy initiatives, and which barriers to engagement may exist.
We will observe the impact on energy consumption and behavioural changes that result from participation and specifically
own-use/local use of local generation.
We will analyse consumption data from before and during the trial with a view to establish any demand reduction, flexibility
and carbon impacts that can be attributed to specific interventions as part of this project. Furthermore, our surveys will
explore public perceptions on the desirability of different measures to better understand which of them have potential to be
rolled out on a larger scale and where additional incentives or considerations need to be explored to ensure that demand
response can be provided willingly and to the benefit of participants.
We will work closely with other project partners to establish important balances between behavioural demand responses
and areas in which flexibility can be provided through other means, such as storage.

Planned Impact

The primary impact of this study will be to change the interaction between communities and local energy generators.
Through better coordination and cooperation between them we seek to develop business models that allow for more
effective use of renewable energy and thus lower energy costs to local energy users.
Results from this research will inform businesses seeking to engage with households and/or committees on key attractors
and potential barriers to uptake of new form of providing demand side flexibility. Product design, interface requirements,
operational characteristics, opt-out preferences and other features will be improved, based on the socio-technical
considerations explored through this research.
These insights will further help to develop commercially more attractive business models and allow to target service
provision at the most valuable areas (both in terms of network locations and ideal participant characteristics). Potential
benefits, such as carbon savings, and also less quantitative measures, such as degree of engagement and their underlying
factors, will contribute towards stronger and more robust business models for demand shaping solutions. These are
expected to be of significant value to this nascent industry.
Households and communities benefit in several ways. Better design of business models, reflecting the preferences and
perceptions identified as part of this project, mean that services can be better aligned with and deliver upon customer
needs. Undesirable interventions and requests for demand shifting can be mitigated through integrated solutions, including
the storage options explored as part of this project.
The effective integration of behavioural responses and storage, supported by novel Demand Shaper technology, will allow
for a better integration of local generation, potentially enhancing their uptake. This research seeks to ensure that novel
balancing requirements are provided in accordance with and balanced between the stakeholder interests of service
providers, local generators, communities and individuals.
This research further addresses issues related to regulation and policy for local energy solutions. Outputs from this
research will be targeted at policy relevant journals to inform the design of appropriate frameworks to support the
exploitation of the opportunities for UK businesses.


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publication icon
Boait P (2017) Making legacy thermal storage heating fit for the smart grid in Energy and Buildings

Description The value of developing community energy through discerning use of technology and engagement activity.
Exploitation Route They are being taken forward in relation to the Future Power Systems Architecture project at IET (I am on the delivery board for phase 2 and know that the project is consulting with the CEGADS PI).
Sectors Energy,Environment

Description My findings have been used to inform the debate on smart metering, in relation to whether and how smart meter data can be used to help householders manage and reduce their energy consumption. They have also been used in relation to the more general debate about making energy use more visible and intelligible, the design of energy advice programmes, etc.
First Year Of Impact 2006
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services