Energy Seminar – Week 5: The UK energy demand observatory – how Oxford helps to understand and accelerate changes in energy demand

The way we use energy will have to undergo fundamental changes during the transition towards a net-zero world. Many of the technical solutions are known: insulate homes, electrify heating and transport, deploy smarter, more efficient and flexible appliances. But how well do they work in practice? Tracking the impact requires careful observation and robust control groups.

Oxford leads the technology and social science of a new £8m UKRI investment to establish an energy demand observatory, which will track energy use in real households.

Additional laboratories facilitate scientifically rigorous testing of technologies, policies and other interventions, where the observatory acts as a control group. The data from this programme helps to pinpoint which measures are consistent with our decarbonisation pathways and where further action is required.

Phil’s presentation will show how Oxford and UCL have developed the capabilities for such an observatory over the past decade and what opportunities now lie ahead.