Why Inspire?

With more than 8.5m smart meters now installed in homes in Great Britain we are on the cusp of a digital revolution in energy. Powerful data processing capability, artificial intelligence and new technologies are also combining to fundamentally change how we generate, store provide, use structure and pay for our energy.

In this transforming world, Sustainability First set up Project Inspire to help ensure that all consumers, including the millions who are potentially vulnerable, are not just protected but also experience the benefits of change.

Sustainability First’s earlier research with Frontier Economics on distribution network operators (DNOs) action on vulnerability and Ofgem’s 2016 Challenge Panel both highlighted services for customers with additional needs as an area for improvement. Moreover our wider work outlined a risk that opportunities to deliver benefits from smart meters were in danger of being missed.

“Innovation for all” is needed to meet the current, future and unarticulated needs of those in vulnerable situations, and to do so more cost efficiently. There are also potential benefits to business and wider society from ‘vulnerability innovation’.