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Decarbonising homes: smart, low carbon solutions

EDF was involved in Smart Systems and Heat  from the very start. Residential heating is a huge contributor to our carbon emissions, so we were keen to know how we can help our customers and the UK as a whole transition away from fossil fuels and onto renewable low carbon heating. What SSH has shown to us is that not only do we have to think about new business model and customer propositions and how we can offer new services to consumers but also the new policies and regulations needed to accompany those.

Dan Bentham
EDF Energy, Head of R&D Smart Customers

Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has pioneered the use of digital technology to help companies develop innovative low carbon heating offers that work for consumers. This has led to the creation of a 1,500+ home ‘Living Lab’ where companies can rapidly test their smart home innovations with real consumers.  

Energy Systems Catapult leveraged the Government-funded Smart Systems and Heat (SSH) programme to accelerate innovation to decarbonise heating and homes – one of the hardest challenges on the way to Net Zero.

This work kickstarted the development of innovative energy services (including Heat-as-a-Service, Comfort-as-a-Service) by established energy suppliers, heating manufacturers and emerging innovators, including:

  • Shell and Passivsystems – launched B-Snug, a smart hybrid heat pump proposition to help consumer decarbonises. The smart heating system switches between an air source heat pump, which Passivsystems will install, and a conventional oil or LPG boiler, reducing carbon and energy bills.
  • Baxi Heating UK successfully trialled selling ‘heat-as-a-service’. Baxi successfully sold a Heat Plan that bundled a new heating system, servicing, maintenance and energy for a fixed monthly price.
  • Ventive developed a smart, whole house retrofit solution, all in one box. ESC helped Ventive in developing a “Comfort-as-a-Service” business model that makes their innovation more affordable for both tenant and landlord. Ventive recently announced a new manufacturing facility in Worcestershire creating 40 new jobs over the next 18 months, with 7,500 systems for UK homes within 18 months, rising to 100,000 by 2025. WATCH Ventive video case study.
  • The Scottish Government announced Heat-as-a-Service as a policy option and has set up a working group to explore financing mechanisms. Several more energy suppliers (as well as Local Authorities) are progressing with their HaaS offers (supported by ESC), including Danfoss, Bristol Energy, EDF and Bridgend County Borough Council.

Both the Committee on Climate Change’s support for hybrids and the SSH programme influenced Shell’s move into this area.

Jo Coleman
Shell UK, Energy Transition Manager

In 2021/22 alone, SMEs that ESC has supported have raised £44.6M in investment and funding

ESC has supported 47 products and services to accelerate towards commercialisation

Energy Systems Catapult was great in helping us to understand the structure, the regulation and business models surrounding the grid and energy market. We strongly believe that retrofitting is not just about energy, it’s about making homes better and this is what we are trying to achieve.

Tom Lipinski
Ventive, Founder and Technical Director
Solar panels on roof