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Energy Systems Catapult Living Lab 1.0 and 2.0

Decerna were the principal contractor for the Newcastle element of a Living Lab stretched across the UK. This was part of the Smart Systems and Heat Program, a project created and run by the Energy Systems Catapult which covered 105 homes across England & Wales, on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Living Lab utilises the Home Energy Services Gateway (HESG), and at one stage had 55 homes within Newcastle running the experimental Heat as a Service system. Delivery for the Newcastle element began in September 2017 and Phase 1 concluded in 2020. After this, some trialists transitioned to Living Lab 2.0, a pilot involving a range of distributed energy technologies, part funded by Innovate UK.

Outline and objectives

The Smart Systems and Heat Programme aims to create and future-proof and economic local heating solutions for the UK.  It is connecting an understanding of consumer needs and behaviour, with the development and integration of new technologies and with new business models.

Decerna with the support of subcontractors such as Pacifica Home Services, delivered the following services;

  • Surveying homes (electrical, heating, householder and building appropriateness)
  • Audit trial of consent forms and other declaration paperwork
  • Enabling measures for trialist homes (such as electric and gas bonding)
  • Detailed CAD floor plans
  • Due diligence on surveys
  • Converting survey data into *json files
  • Trialist engagement, including arranging survey and installation dates
  • Pairing HESG systems (including up to 110 components per home)
  • Commissioning of systems
  • Installation of systems
  • Helpline (business hours & out of hours)
  • Breakdown and repair service (business hours & out of hours)
  • Communications with householders
  • De-commissioning of systems
  • Technical IT support to the project (for example, repairing of hubs)


The project has created a Living Lab in Newcastle upon Tyne to test “heat as a service”.

Further infomation

Further information on the project can be found at theĀ Energy Systems Catapult website.

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