The Sussex Energy Group at SPRU undertakes academically rigorous, inter-disciplinary research that engages with policy-makers and practitioners. The aim of our research is to identify ways of achieving the transition to sustainable, low carbon energy systems whilst addressing other important policy objectives such as energy security.

We are based in SPRU at the University of Sussex and are a core partner in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and part of the UK Energy Research Centre.  

7 families, 7 solar panels, 7 pre-payment meters - 1 estate

Take 7 is a short film by SEG's Nicolette Fox that follows the energy stories of seven families over four seasons and the influence that solar power has had on their lives. All the families, who relied on pre-payment meters for paying their electricity bills, were given solar panels by their social landlord in the summer of 2014.

The film is based on research at the Science Policy Research Unit’s Sussex Energy Group. The study looked at how the families developed skills to capture the solar power given that its generation is variable and depends on the weather, seasons and daylight hours. It explored the impact this had on day to day routines, family life and finances, and whether being producers and users – ‘pro-users’ - of solar power can help towards developing a low carbon energy system and reducing vulnerability to fuel poverty.