This competition is delivered in partnership with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem). It is funded by the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund, which aims to deliver net zero at lowest cost to consumers and support innovative businesses to grow and scale.
Discovery is the first phase of a 3 phase competition:
There are 4 challenge competitions in Discovery Phase:
- Ofgem Round 2: Supporting a just energy transition (this competition)
- Ofgem Round 2: Preparing for a net zero power system
- Ofgem Round 2: Improving energy system resilience and robustness
- Ofgem Round 2: Accelerating decarbonisation of major energy demands
It is the responsibility of the lead applicant to ensure that they are entering the appropriate challenge competition for their project.
Successful applicants from the Discovery Phase will be invited to apply for the Alpha Phase.
In applying to this Discovery Phase competition, you are entering into a competitive process.
Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise.
Funding type - Thirdparty
Project size - Your Discovery Phase Project must last up to three months and have a total requested funding of no more than £150,000, exclusive of VAT.
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) aims to deliver net zero at lowest cost to consumers and support innovative businesses to grow and scale.
This can include decarbonising gas and electric energy distribution, transmission networks and benefit the consumer. These projects should help shape the future of the gas and electricity networks and succeed commercially where possible.
The aims of this competition are to:
improve coordination between networks and other stakeholders with remit and responsibility for consumer service provision for more targeted and joined-up support
significantly progress the understanding of consumer vulnerability in the context of energy networks and net zero transition and develop robust strategies to support these consumers
significantly narrow the gap between consumer segments in terms of ease, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of decarbonisation solutions relevant to energy networks
adapt and improve existing decarbonisation solutions and approaches to work better, considering different vulnerability factors
Your project must focus on and address at least one of these areas:
novel and replicable approaches for better identification, support, and inclusion of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers
supporting the decarbonisation of heat and mobility for rural, off gas grid, fuel poor and those consumer groups with reduced access to opportunities for decarbonisation
Your project must meet the eligibility criteria of the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), as stipulated in the SIF Governance Document.
Over the three phases, applicants must demonstrate that projects deliver a net benefit to network consumers through:
financial cost reductions (operating the network, energy bills, users of network services)
carbon emission reduction
access to revenues for users of energy network services; or introducing products, process and services that are new to the UK energy market
Your proposal must focus on network innovation that can be deployed or applied to benefit GB energy networks infrastructure, network consumers, operation, and utilisation.
Your project must address:
users and their context
constraints affecting the problem or wider context
opportunities for improvement
At this stage a Project Direction will be issued for the Discovery Phase only. Only successful applicants from Discovery Phase will be invited to apply for Alpha Phase.
The Alpha Phase of a project will focus on preparing and testing the different solutions to the problem identified during the Discovery Phase ahead of any future large-scale demonstration of the project. It will also include testing of the riskiest assumptions.
Projects we will not fund
Ofgem will not fund projects that do not meet the requirements of the SIF Governance Document.