Experts' hope for cheaper energy deals
Academics at a Devon university are working to find the best way customers can power their homes with cheap, secure and sustainable energy.
Researchers at the University of Exeter will present their findings to the Government to help shape future energy policy, which they hope will turn into better deals for customers.
The four-year £1.3 million study will look at how systems work in the US, Denmark and Germany and analyse how governments determine the cost of energy and the development of sustainable alternatives.
Researchers say by looking at the countries' very different approaches they hope to establish how decisions are made and how new ideas are supported.
Their examinations will focus on links between innovation, government, the demand for energy and affordability. Professor Catherine Mitchell is lead researcher on the project at the university's Tremough Campus, near Falmouth.
She said the project would help to understand how the UK can meet its target of 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
Professor Mitchell said: "The goal of moving towards a more sustainable, low-carbon economy implies the need for a radical transition in the way that energy is both supplied and used.
"Ultimately, we need a new approach to energy that takes notice of customers and the needs of society.
"The governance behind energy policy is highly complex, involving interactions between many different factors.
"No one has ever embarked on a study on this scale, but we are well placed to get to the heart of the issues the UK is facing and pave the way for a fairer, greener approach to energy for the future."