The New Thames Valley Vision (NTVV) full bid submission [SSEPD 2011] defines the Successful Delivery Reward Criteria (SDRC) that must be met in line with the project milestones. This report addresses the criteria for SDRC 9.8(b)2 to promote Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) in local communities, specifically in the Thames Valley area.
The key topics covered within this report as defined by the SDRC evidence requirements are as follows:

  • Funding issues and other vested interests;
  • Strategy / objectives of the potential investor in LCT and the potential influence of the Distribution Network Operator (DNO); and
  • Community benefits, including, but not necessarily limited to, energy and cost savings.

This report considers the view of different stakeholder groups with an interest in LCT. This includes LCT suppliers as well as those stakeholders who may invest in LCT. These potential decision makers may be divided into two distinct groups:

  • Those who are responsible for managing a group of properties on behalf of tenants, such as professionals working for housing associations; and,
  • Individual householders who are only able to make decisions which relate to properties in which they themselves live.

In reflection of this distinction, this report was produced based on information and insights gathered through two different types of activity:

1. A series of interviews was conducted with stakeholders with an interest in the implementation of LCT in social housing. These interviews were conducted with two groups:

i. Providers of LCT-related equipment; and,
ii. Representatives of housing associations which own and operate property in the Thames Valley area.

2. A number of events were held in the Bracknell area intended to promote LCT to domestic consumers and to small enterprises. The events took two principal forms:

i. Low Carbon Promotion (LCP) events, which were open to casual members of the public and,
ii. Domestic Focus Group (DFG) events which were conducted with consumers who had agreed to engage in the NTVV project.

Whilst these activities were quite different in nature, the common theme was an attempt to understand the motivations behind implementation of LCT intended for use by small-scale energy consumers. This question is important to DNOs as the actions being taken by small consumers are having an increasing impact on the efficient and effective operation of the distribution networks. For this reason, DNOs have an interest in developing an understanding of the dynamics which affect these consumers as well as how these dynamics can be influenced. This is a complex question which requires an insight into the motivations and intentions of a wide range of consumers and other stakeholders. The lessons learned from this report will help DNOs to begin to answer these questions and give practical recommendations for further investigations and consumer engagement activities.
This work is being done in parallel with NTVV technical impact evaluation which is developing a model to determine the impact on the low voltage networks of a range of LCT uptake scenarios [SSEPD 2015(2)]. The trials reported on throughout this document will supplement that work; the information and insights gathered will support the process of developing future LCT uptake scenarios.