Tomorrow’s World for Energy and Water: What will consumers and citizens want in 2030? A check-list for change

A new publication from Sustainability First:

Tomorrow’s World for Energy and Water What will consumers and citizens want in 2030? A check-list for change


Future energy and water services need to be designed around the needs, expectations, behaviours and values of consumers and citizens. This paper draws upon Sustainability First analysis for the New-Pin project – plus outputs from a day-long ‘Tomorrow’s World’ Workshop on 18 July 2017 run in partnership with the National Infrastructure Commission - to look at the future energy and water requirements of households and small & medium-sized enterprises to 2030 - from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. It thus seeks to move from a more ‘traditional’ horizon scan that sees the future from an energy and water sector perspective - in kilowatt hours of energy and megalitres of water and in terms of changing technologies - to one which also looks ahead from a consumer / citizen point of view.

The energy sector is going through a period of significant and disruptive change (which is being experienced slightly differently between electricity and gas). The water sector is also evolving. Given the projected rise in active consumers and more flexible, decentralised and ‘democratic’ models of energy and water service delivery, the perspective of consumers and citizens will be vital to plan effectively for change.

Part 1 of the paper provides a qualitative, granular & ‘bottom up’ view of what future consumers / citizens of energy and water services may want. It is set out in the form of a Sustainability First ‘Consumer / citizen check-list’ for energy and water companies, regulators and Government to use when considering future needs.

Part 2 of the paper summarises from a quantitative and macro perspective what the UK’s future energy and water needs are likely to be up to 2030, and beyond. It covers socio-demographic trends and drivers of change for both sectors in technology, climate change and customer expectations. It then provides a future outlook for each sector and the opportunities and challenges that exist from a sector / company perspective.

Part 3 draws together the overarching conclusions from the qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Download the full report here.

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