Sprinting to net zero in uk homes

Using a design sprint to increase the appeal of energy efficiency measures

The Challenge

Home heating accounts for around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions. Most of our 27m homes are not up to scratch to be zero-carbon. They’re leaky, cold and expensive to heat.

To meet the government’s 2050 net-zero target, we need a nationwide programme to upgrade existing housing stock.

This is a challenging target. It’s technically difficult and very hard for customers to know:

  • What home improvements will work
  • What benefits they can expect
  • How they can afford it

Our Approach

Big Clean Switch (BCS) – a B Corp energy switching site – approached Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) with a concept for a new digital platform. A place to help domestic energy customers make informed choices about their home energy improvements.

We invited BCS to Birmingham for a four-day Design Sprint. Over these four days, together we refined the concept, then designed, built and tested a solution.

We set a specific scope on what to create during the Sprint. Over the next four days, our objective was:

“to prototype and test the assessment, recommendation and referral phases of the platform”

Based on the sprint objective, we curated a bespoke schedule of design methods and activities. The aim was to gather insights and create meaningful outputs that would be useful for any future investment opportunities.

The Result

We recruited five people who had an active interest in home upgrade.

The team created a prototype website called “Best Home Plan”. Our five testers each received an email with a bespoke offer based on their home value and EPC rating. Their offer detailed estimates based on deployed energy measures. These estimates were for increase in home value, energy savings and carbon reduction.

In the space of four days, the team had:

  • turned a few pages of A4 describing the concept into a user-tested website;
  • helped BCS understand the data requirements and architecture of the platform;
  • armed BCS with great collateral and a prototype for investor pitches.

The Outcome

Every tester was happy to proceed based on their bespoke email.

Do you have a concept to test?

We can help customise Design Sprints to fit your requirements be that product or service. Just get in touch.

Come and see us for a friendly

chat over a cuppa.


Cannon House, 18 The Priory Queensway

Birmingham B4 6BS8

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