The Interactive EnergyREV Theory of Change

Michael Fell, Carol Vigurs, Chris Maidment, and David Shipworth

11th October 2021

Interactive EnergyREV Theory of Change (ToC) live tool is now available for testing.

The EnergyREV Theory of Change (ToC) interactive tool highlights the key conditions required for developing smart local energy systems (SLES) which we have found through EnergyREV research. It also illustrates how SLES are expected to deliver desired outcomes like prosperous communities with quality employment, or meeting climate targets.

ToCs are developed to help show the process by which an action is expected to lead to intended outcomes. ToCs also provide details and assumptions that might influence that outcome, therefore highlighting possible unintended consequences as well - things you might not have thought about directly! A ToC is often used in the evaluation of a new policy decision, for example, to help make clear why expenditure of public money and resources will lead to an outcome for the public good, and not have an unexpected outcome.

The EnergyREV ToC was initially built through a collaborative process (see report for details), and is frequently updated using new information as it becomes available. Conditions required to reach different outcomes from a SLES are shown for a range of challenge areas: technology/system interactions; data and digital; users; skills; business, finance and organisations; heating and cooling; mobility; and ecosystems.

Those planning, implementing, and supporting SLES projects can use the ToC tool to help think through whether or not their projects meet the conditions, and if this matters. It includes a range of interactive features, such as the ability to show/hide:

  • summaries of EnergyREV findings relevant to various conditions, with links to the original reports.
  • important policy/governance considerations underlying conditions.
  • suggested metrics that can be used to evaluate progress against creating conditions.
  • a high-level summary version.

The ToC will continue to evolve. We want to make it as easy-to-use as possible for different SLES stakeholders. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback, suggestions, and feature requests, please email these to Michael Fell (michael.fell@ucl.ac.uk).

To open the TOC click the image below or this link (opens in Lucidchart) – instructions for getting started are included on the welcome screen.