Informatics Researchers to work on Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL) Project

[2019] Researchers from the School of Informatics are working on a major UK research project, the Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL). The project will utilise household energy consumption data from smart meters to fuel a new wave of innovative energy research. This research will help make the UK’s energy more efficient, sustainable and affordable.

SERL logo

The five-year project is run by a consortium of seven UK universities (University College London, University of Essex UK Data Archive, Cardiff University, The University of Edinburgh, Energy Saving Trust, Leeds Beckett University, Loughborough University, University of Southampton) and the Energy Saving Trust and is funded by UKRI (UK research councils).

The team have been working since August 2017 to develop the complex technical and data governance structures needed to ensure that energy consumption data is gathered from consenting households in full accordance with the relevant legislation, including GDPR and the Smart Energy Code.

Data will be stored on a state-of-the-art big data platform at the UK Data Archive, hosted at the University of Essex. From here accredited UK academic researchers get controlled access to appropriate data for approved research projects via a secure research portal. Project applications will be assessed by a data governance board to ensure that their use of the data complies with SERL’s rigorous data governance and ethical protocols.

The project team have been working with Ipsos MORI to develop a pilot phase of participant recruitment which will be conducted from August to October 2019. Following the pilot phase another wave of participant recruitment will follow in early 2020. SERL’s target is to ultimately recruit 10,000 participating households for the core observatory panel.


We're very excited that the project is now ready to recruit participants. SERL represents a major new facility for conducting energy-related research. We are looking forward to furthering our research, utilising this new big data source to look into solutions for a more sustainable and socially just energy system.

Dr Martin Pullinger
Senior Researcher on the SERL project at the University of Edinburgh

If you have received an invitation letter and wish to participate, please follow the instructions in the invitation letter or visit the SERL website for more information. Participation in SERL is currently by invitation only.


Related links

SERL website

Email SERL