No home left cold - from insight to planet-centred design.

Innovate UK

Interface Design
Planet Centred Design
Art Direction 

AI Development and Project Lead: UrbanTide
Planet-centred Design Lead: Zoë Prosser
Energy Markets Expertise: Lyndsay Thomson
Motion: Box Dog Inc

Friendhood partnered with UrbanTide to deliver storytelling, design and engagement as part of Innovate UK’s Design Foundations. The project explores how planet-centred design, data and AI can help make some of the most vulnerable homes in the UK warmer, more comfortable and carbon efficient.

See the storytelling site here

31 million people in Great Britain live in poorly insulated properties. This means higher energy bills, cold and draughty conditions, health issues and unnecessary emissions. In Great Britain alone, 31% of greenhouse gases are caused by domestic heating systems.
In a world hurtling towards planetary limits with increasingly unstable energy supplies, it’s imperative that every household becomes more energy efficient through infrastructural changes and low-carbon energy sources. It’s even more important that we do so in a way that doesn’t leave vulnerable households behind.
It’s estimated that 6.7m households in fuel poverty are not registered for certain benefits, and only 1 in 3 consumers are aware of the Priority Services Register for example. Support is available with a current budget of over £2.55bn per year allocated to improving energy efficiency and assisting householders to pay their fuel bills. But only about £0.4bn per annum is received by fuel-poor households (Committee on Fuel Poverty - GOV.UK: Report).
Designing solutions that can help bridge this gap is a huge opportunity to help move more people out of fuel poverty by accessing help that is already available.
GIF of post-it notes and Miro boards

Above: Post-it overload from 1200 insights

Working at the intersection of fuel poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation and emerging technologies, we embarked on our collaboration. We set out to understand the challenges and opportunities around identifying vulnerable customers to ensure they receive the most relevant targeted support.

We engaged 14 organisations across the energy industry from Energy Suppliers, Energy Networks and Local Authorities to Net Zero Hubs to produce a broad spectrum of insights (1200+). These were distilled into focused personas and four areas for development with planet-centred recommendations and development pathways.

In turn, we used these insights to develop AI tools that drive organisations to effectively support their most vulnerable, fuel poor customers, and unlock sustainable development in an ever-changing world.

Above: Planet-centred framework

Taking a planet-centred approach
Planet centred design is an approach that balances the needs of the planet and its people through principles of sustainability, equity and resilience (Design Council, 2021). In this project, it was used to acknowledge the complexity of interconnected systems and the medium to long-term effects of our often short-term decision making. 
This allowed our team to balance the immediate economic and social constraints associated with managing fuel poverty against environmental net zero targets and sustainable development goals and create a framework for strategic sustainable development.
iPad on a gradient background showing UI designs for uEco
Product development
These insights guided our development of the UX/UI and new product features for uZero, UrbanTide’s AI and data insights platform. This powerful tool can map, identify and predict fuel poverty by layering a variety of data sources. By building a tool that effectively and efficiently identifies vulnerable customers we can help organisations deliver targeted, streamlined solutions that can have an impact for years to come.
iPad on a gradient background showing UI designs for uEco

Above: The final storytelling site with all insights in one place

Gradient background from blue to red with the words

Above: Final messaging

Telling the story
We created the hero line ‘No Home Left Cold’ to drive home the centrality of Just Transition to the project and as a challenge to frame the project’s ambitions. Friendhood developed and art directed a storytelling site to make the insights accessible and compelling to a range of audiences. 
We’re at the start of our journey, and we recognise that the solution to more comfortable lives and a successful Just Transition doesn’t rely on one product alone; it requires a dynamic systems approach and involvement at every level.

Friendhood — a creative consultancy for people thinking about tomorrow.

2024 Friendhood Ltd. All rights reserved.

Back to top Arrow