"At the Association for Decentralised Energy, we advocate the value of a user orientated approach to meeting energy requirements. Consumers have varied needs from reliable high temperature steam in industry to heating in urban or rural areas.
"By starting with the consumer, examining their needs and considering the user in their local context it is possible to design a more local, efficient and less costly energy system where each technology and infrastructure option is considered on its merits.
"Our vision is for an energy system that is dictated by the consumers' needs rather than one that dictates to them. To make this vision a reality, we focus on technologies and services that have not reached their potential under our current, centralised approach.
"Combined heat and power at all scales and with all fuels reduces users’ bills and carbon emissions compared to the separate generation of heat and power.
"District heating, the supply of heat to homes and businesses through a network of pipes, can reduce consumers’ heating bills in urban areas, and give communities more control over their heating needs.
"Energy services, such as a temporary reduction in power demand (known as demand side response), can allow consumers to participate in the electricity system while reducing the need for new energy infrastructure by better system management.
"There are no silver bullets which will deliver an affordable, secure and low carbon energy system, but by thinking about the consumer first, we can use a range of options to find the right solutions for the right people in the right place."
Dr Tim Rotheray, Director of the Association for Decentralised Energy