Research project

LATENT: Residential Heat as an Energy System Service

Project overview

LATENT brings together academic (UoS) and industrial partners (Igloo Works, Nquiringminds) to create a research team specialising in household energy behaviour, statistically rigorous field trials, distributed electricity supply, residential energy systems, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and commercial scale household energy supply. Together, they will address the fundamental user behaviour, technical thermal response and business environment challenges of delivering decarbonised heat electricity through seamless third party control of electrified residential heating.

LATENT offers a pathway to a low risk, low cost study of thermal preference and acceptance of automated, direct (3rd party) control of residential heating systems for grid support.

LATENT is a 5 workpackage, 48 month longitudinal study developed to answer the following research questions:

1. Which areas (demographic and location) will decarbonise heating via a switch to heat pumps or hybrid heat pumps?
2. What impact will the switch to heat pumps have on local electricity demand and how does this coincide with distribution network stresses?
3. How do the thermal properties of a dwelling influence the potential duration of heat deferral?
4. What density of participating households would be required to achieve useful demand reduction in areas experiencing distribution network stresses?
5. How does the deferrable capacity vary according to customer characteristics and circumstances?
6. To what extent do customer personality traits (OCEAN±, Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) affect the potential for deferral of heat loads? How do customer traits influence the messaging and intervention strategies that can be applied?
7. What is the financial and contractual mechanism that could be created between the DNO, electricity supplier and householder to make this happen seamlessly?
8. How do householders understand energy as a service as opposed to pay as you use models?
9. To what extent are domestic customers comfortable with the deferral of space heating? How does acceptance of heat disruption vary with customer trait and financial reward level?


Lead researcher

Professor Patrick James

Professor of Energy and Buildings

Research interests

  • His work looks at energy across scales from the dwelling, to the neighbourhood, city or region. Patrick undertakes studies in the UK, China, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
Connect with Patrick
Other researchers

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj

Professor of Sustainable Energy

Research interests

  • Renewable Energy (Solar photovoltaics, Marine energy, Wind energy)
  • Low carbon cities and infrastructure
  • Energy for Development
Connect with AbuBakr

Dr Stephanie Gauthier MSc PhD FHEA

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Energy demand;
  • Built environment;
  • Behaviour change;
Connect with Stephanie

Dr Massimiliano Manfren

Lecturer in Energy in Built Environment
Connect with Massimiliano

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups