Our mission is to have real-world impact on energy policy and practice, enabling and accelerating progress towards an equitable zero-carbon energy system.
Our research focuses on the people, policies, technologies, and organisations that shape how and why energy is used. We also explore the implications this has for energy networks and resources at different scales. Our emphasis on energy demand-led transformation distinguishes us in the energy research field.
We take a socio-technical perspective that integrates both human and material dimensions to understand the major drivers of change in the energy system: decarbonisation, decentralisation, democratisation, and digitalisation.
We investigate energy use in homes, buildings, and transport, as well as in firms and industry.
We collaborate and partner with a wide variety of organisations, from local and national governments to businesses, charities, energy companies, and industry associations.
We use diverse approaches, methods, and datasets from across the social and technical sciences that are matched to specific research needs. We collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data using methods such as field trials, systems thinking, ethnography, simulation modelling, expert interviews, and statistical analysis.
We evaluate and learn about effective ways to govern and manage energy systems. Examples range from national government policies and local area planning to community initiatives and multi-actor partnerships.
We trial and assess the adoption and use of innovative technologies and institutional solutions. Examples range from e-mobility and heat pumps to smart home technologies and local energy systems.
Energy and society:
We investigate and strengthen the contributions of people and organisations to energy demand-led transformation, enabling equitable participation and improving health and wellbeing outcomes. Examples range from climate education and energy poverty alleviation to carbon capabilities and demand flexibility.
We develop and model scenarios that show how a just zero-carbon energy system can be achieved. Examples range from low energy demand futures and low-carbon lifestyles to smart energy futures and net-zero pathways.
Project LEO (Local energy Oxfordshire)
Project LEO was an ambitious, wide-ranging and innovative energy trial, seeking to accelerate the UK’s transition to a zero-carbon energy system.
Energy Superhub Oxford
Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) aims to eliminate 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year – the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road.
Researchers from six European countries worked with clean energy communities to explore how they engage citizens, create value and share learning.
Pathways to a zero carbon Oxfordshire
Our analysis outlines three distinct pathways to eradicating emissions from the Oxfordshire economy.
iNumber: iNtelligent Urban Model for Built environment Energy Research
iNumber is a four-year research collaboration between India and United Kingdom to help cities reduce their energy demand and improve their electricity and water services.
M-Benefits: Valuing and communicating multiple benefits of energy-efficiency measures
M-Benefits created a method for companies to include the multiple benefits of energy efficiency in their investment assessment and decision-making.