Pioneering research that gets us to net zero quickly, fairly and affordably

Centre for Net Zero is building the world’s largest ‘living lab’ for energy research, using insights from Octopus Energy’s global database.

We are using data-driven modelling and simulation to provide the critical insights that policy makers need to take bold climate action. We are producing research that enables governments to close the gap between climate rhetoric and reality.


Our open research lab

Core areas of focus

Understanding how people behave now and likely future behaviours

We are creating detailed simulations of the energy transition based on real-world data, considering the full variety of people and businesses involved in the energy transition.

Enabling bold action in the short-term

There is an urgent need for more detailed near term plans in the next 0-5 and 5-10 years, supported by quantified analysis of specific policy interventions – either in isolation or in combination.

Multiplying our impact through scale

The climate emergency is global so we need to work with individuals and organisations across the world who can deliver reach and put our tools to positive effect.

Our agent-based model (ABM)

We are building the world’s most advanced, openly accessible ABM of the energy transition, simulating the behaviour of households within a people-centred energy transition. The insights from our model will enable decision makers to take faster, bolder and more equitable climate action.

Which agents and behaviours are we modelling?
We are prioritising agents whose heterogeneous behaviour is important to the energy transition. These include (but are not limited to):
• Households
• Fleet operators
• Chargepoint investors
• Housing developers
• Heating Engineers
• Non-domestic heat users
• Wholesale Markets
• Heating OEMs
• Electricity Networks

Why is this innovative?
A lot of energy research has focused on ‘cost optimal’ pathways to achieving net zero by 2050. This work fails to recognise the diversity of people and households within the energy system, whose behaviours are becoming more critical as we begin to decarbonise sectors like heat and transport.

The originality of our approach lies in putting people at the heart of our analysis, focusing on individual agents who can make autonomous decisions that affect one another and influence the behaviour of the overall system.

What questions will we be answering?
The simulation will allow different scenarios and policy interventions to be combined and compared, in terms of their impact on adoption of low carbon technology, total CO2e impact and costs.

It will also allow people to see the distribution of impacts, considering how different places or societal groups may be affected. These insights are critical to enabling a just energy transition.

Our home decarbonisation index

Want to see which homes in the UK are leading the energy transition? We’ve built an interactive map that shows the adoption of EVs, heat pumps and solar PV – and the corresponding amount of household carbon emissions that are currently being saved per year.

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