Energy Transactions for Non-Traditional Services (EnTraNTS)

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Business and Economics


: Consumer spending on energy increased by 55% by 2012, compared to a decade earlier (ONS, 2014), despite falling energy use (largely in response to price hikes between 2004 and 2009) increased energy efficiency and warmer winters (ONS, 2014; DECC, 2015c). By 2011, energy expenditure constituted around 16% of total spending for the lowest decile of the income distribution, partway returning to the peaks (20%) of the 1980s (IFS, 2014). Although fuel poverty has dropped to 10.6% (in 2014) since the financial crisis (DECC, 2016), high energy prices continue to affect fuel poor and vulnerable consumers the most, causing financial anxiety and uncomfortable living conditions.
Our research proposal seeks to investigate why flexibility, functionality and fairness in energy supply systems are unattainable in the traditional 'one-size-fits-all' approach adopted by incumbent energy suppliers. We therefore seek to explore how new and emerging business models can provide these services to all consumers and particularly how technological developments in the industry can be harnessed to address the needs of low-income, fuel poor and vulnerable consumers.
Our project will inform key stakeholders and policymakers by helping them to identify the limitations of traditional business models of energy supply and helping to characterise the required features of innovative forms of transaction necessary to support the transition towards a low-carbon, decentralised energy system. Through this project we will build on this foundation by establishing a network of researchers, policymakers, industry and other stakeholders to enhance our understanding of how innovative energy services, community schemes, contractual arrangements and transactions can be used to support the needs of vulnerable energy consumers. Our ultimate goal is to create links between consumer bodies, industrial and political actors in order support a fair and welfare-enhancing transition to a low carbon UK energy system.

Planned Impact

The impact and dissemination activities which we intend to undertake as part of the project include two workshops involving academic researchers, industrial partners, national and local Government bodies, and third party organisations whoa re active in the area of energy consumption, energy technology and fuel poverty.
We also intend to dissemiante our work through a briefing document and publications of research paper in high impact energy related journalssuch as Energy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Energy Strategy reviews.
Our proposal will create a platform for the dissemination of network related material and a repository of information on data and evidence sources. A website will be developed as part of the project to promote the project and research vision, research output and events and key information related to the project themes, as well as integrate various multimedia objects (e.g. images and videos taken at events) and create links with popular social media outlets (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Instagram). We will also produce a high quality briefing document to be circulated at the final event. To support this, we will also create a promotional video of our main findings as an additional medium of communication. In doing so, we aim to make our research accessible and attract interest from key stakeholders such as charities, Government, organisations, who are in a position to create the conditions for the promotion and development of innovative and powerful solutions to the emerging challenges of sustainable and affordable energy.


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Description A scoping study has been produced which offers insight into the potential transactions that could arise in an increasingly low carbon and localised energy system, particularly those that aim to deliver greater flexibility, functionality and fairness to consumers. In addition, vehicles for the delivery of and business models (e.g., aggregators, regulators and community energy organisations) that can bring about new institutional arrangements, financing and pricing packages are highlighted.
Exploitation Route Much work still need to be done in this area but our study presents a series of different options to be explored to address the challenge of providing energy sevices to vulnerable consumers.
Sectors Energy

Description The project haas involved a brad engagement with policymakers at national and local level, private companies and charitable organisation which led to a mapping of th opportunties and challenges in this area. The main results of this process are summarised in our reports on two consultation workshops and our scoping study report. Apart from facilitating the exchange of views and information between acdemia, policymakers and businesses the key impact of our scoping studies can be summarise as follows: At local level the set of energy services provided consumers are becoming be more diverse and agents operatingin this space are starting to provide installation of renewables, virtual power platforms, demand response management, smart home and E-mobility services. Local authorities and private companies are developing effective collaboration in this area.We ahve evidence of this in teh city councils most engaged wth our project: Nottingham and Leeds City Council Our counsultaiton process will culminate with a final workshop to be held in London on MArch 19th on whichwe will report in due course.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Energy,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

Description academic workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Event to disseminate results of academic work and discussion about future collaborations in teh area of fuel poverty
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description stakeholder workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact stakeholders workshop on business models aimed at adressing fuel poverty issues
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017