3 Year Industry-led Funded PhD: Ref. No. CGE54

Energy2.0: Digitisation of energy to create customer value

Our society is becoming increasingly connected and transitioning to become digital first.   As part of this transformation, smart meters are being installed in every UK household by 2020, generating huge amounts of data. Alongside this, new information, control, generation and storage systems are becoming available to domestic users. This has the potential to revolutionise the way in which consumers understand, use and contribute to their energy needs.

This PhD project will investigate how consumers can benefit from new value introduced to them by their energy supplier and services providers stimulated by the data available from smart meters and beyond into the connected environment.   The project will consider how consumers respond to the opportunity to reduce, time shift, destroy and satisfy their demand using options arising from the new connected infrastructure integrated across solutions such as portals and mobile applications, in home displays, consumer access devices, storage and micro generation options. The aim is to develop an understanding of what customers really value in this changing energy mix and link an understanding of customers’ behaviour and preferences to the offers, service and tariffs available from the data driven, future utility companies.

The project will critique the effectiveness of smart meters in the home and work already undertaken on establishing the link between changing behaviour and social conventions. This research will co-create solutions for the home and online services that inform and empower individuals and communities to make more conscious and informed decisions about electricity use. Analysis of Utiligroup data will be undertaken to define a series of user types and their behaviour regarding energy use, established tariffs and switching behaviour.

This research project will suit a graduate who is comfortable handling large amounts of data to turn it into specific, actionable insight, is interested in the energy market and exploring the social dimensions of what drives energy consumption.

Industry Partner

This doctoral research project will be supervised by Lancaster University and Utiligroup. Utiligroup is a technology backed services company built by its valued people community through deep sector expertise, practical technology and understanding of market creation.   The company is based in Lancashire, providing value to leading customer focused energy companies. Their technology enabled managed services and emerging analytics are all established on a strong foundation of core components, industry leading expertise and valued support. These solutions provide the intelligence and insight required to revolutionise the energy and utilities industry and create positive change.

The PhD role will make a vital contribution in linking the emerging possibilities of a connected, digital society with the transformation of essential energy services to deliver a basis for engagement by data driven, future energy companies. These companies will deliver services on a basis of trust, benefit delivery and empowerment that create a mutually beneficial relationship between citizens and their energy services.  By doing so a new mandate is achieved to collaborate to a balanced roadmap of energy security, sustainability and affordability. Utiligroup focuses on making future change real today through its applied capabilities and as such the new role will contribute to a better energy market, the new value of our customers and the positioning of our company as a leading enabler of change.

We are committed to creating innovative disruption by delivering the customer expectation shift through capabilities that enable the next wave of dynamic, digital services we call Energy2.0

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will:

  • Receive £15,000 tax free per year
  • Have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth c£4,195/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year. See university website for published rates by year of entry)
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.


Application Deadline

This project has been recruited.

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

This doctoral research project is one of a cohort of industry-led funded research projects from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, an international alliance supporting university-business collaboration. The Centre delivers high quality, business-led research to create eco-innovative technologies, products and services.

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation manages the Low Carbon Lancashire Innovation Hub (LoCaL-i), part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

At the heart of the Centre are people who are researching, developing and innovating to address global challenges, including energy, water, natural capital, resource efficiency, food, and waste, to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. Launched in 2012 the Centre and has won two national awards for its ground breaking approach to sustainable R&D and knowledge exchange.


How to apply

This project has been recruited.