What is the Smart Energy Research Lab?

With gas and electricity smart meters now in many GB homes, there is an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the high quality energy data they can provide for scientific research in the public interest. The research conducted via the Smart Energy Research Lab helps to make the UK’s energy system more sustainable, affordable and reliable.

  • SERL provides a secure, consistent and trusted channel for researchers to access high-resolution energy data, facilitating innovative energy research for years to come
  • Data is collected on a strictly voluntary basis with the informed consent of households who have agreed to provide their smart meter data to SERL for research purposes
  • SERL’s robust governance framework ensures that only accredited researchers can access controlled datasets using established “5 Safes” protocols

Data collected by SERL helps us gain a better understanding of energy usage in the UK. This will:

  • Help the UK to become more energy efficient
  • Help to protect the environment for future generations
  • Help reduce future household energy bills.

SERL is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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The data

  • Daily & half-hourly electricity / gas data readings

  • 20+ weather data variables
  • 40 question survey on dwelling and household

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The sample

  • 13,000+ GB households recruited for SERL Observatory

  • 7,000+ GB households participating in SERL Laboratory projects
  • Over 30,000 individual meters sharing data with SERL

The research

Over 30 research projects in areas including:

  • Identifying fuel poverty

  • Effects of CV19 on domestic energy use

  • Evaluation of government initiatives
  • Smart EPCs

  • Annual energy statistics report

adjusting heating controls

‘a secure virtual facility to access granular smart meter data, with consumer consent, to conduct research. This is allowing energy researchers to carry out valuable public interest work.’

Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Digitalising our energy system for net zero: Strategy and Action Plan (2021).

‘a unique resource spanning gas and electricity and linking energy consumption to socio-demographic and other data.’

Smart Meter Data Public Interest Advisory Group, Phase II Final Report (2021)

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