Energy and utilities market research

In 2018, global energy demand grew by 2.3% and investment in the energy sector totalled USD1.85 trillion. Record levels of CO2 emissions in 2018 and increasing awareness of the short- and long-term impacts of climate change are stimulating research and investment into energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources.

The UK energy sector made up GBP67.2 billion (3.2%) of UK GDP in 2018 and supports 620,000 jobs across the country. UK electricity generation from renewable sources has tripled in the past five years, while fossil fuel capacity has fallen by a third. In the third quarter of 2019, renewable sources generated more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time in UK history, a huge step forward towards the UK’s ambitious goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

FieldworkHub has supported a number of projects relating to energy conservation and renewables including rapid recruitment for an online bulletin board about renewable energy, interviews with consumers about smart home energy devices, and interviews with B2B customers about gas purchases.

We also have experience in other areas of the energy and utilities sector: for example, we have arranged in-depth interviews with managers responsible for streetworks carried out by utility companies and have arranged focus groups with gas central heating engineers across the UK.


Solar panels on the roof of detached house generating renewable energy

Online bulletin boards about energy consumption in the UK and Germany

Our client needed rapid turnaround recruitment of different types of domestic energy customer in each of the UK and Germany for online bulletin boards on attitudes towards energy use and generating energy at home from renewable sources. The profiles included people with domestic solar panels or a small-scale wind turbine, high-tech early adopters and value-driven consumers with limited financial resources. We recruited all of the profiles over a holiday weekend and arranged for them to complete the bulletin board over a two-day period. We also arranged for our client to conduct home ethnographic interviews with some UK and German participants.

Young male engineer completing tests after installing a new central heating boiler in a kitchen

Focus groups about boilers in Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh

We arranged two focus groups in each of four UK provincial cities with homeowners who had recently had their domestic central heating boiler replaced, homeowners with older boilers (installed 7-10 years ago), and homeowners who had a service contract to maintain and repair their boiler. We successfully recruited 12 respondents in each city and liaised with all of the facilities to ensure that the groups ran smoothly.

Dubai skyline at night with the city lit up in the background. Busy highways are visible in the foreground

Ethnographic research on personal mobility and energy in Dubai

A Middle Eastern corporation wanted to carry out ethnographic research on topics relating to personal mobility, lifestyle and convenience, and energy distribution in Dubai. Our work involved finding respondents with very particular B2C and B2B profiles including several ‘hard-to-reach’ groups, such as owners of electric vehicles. The sample needed to include Emiratis as well as ex-pats and high earners as well as those with more modest levels of income. We recruited around 100 respondents in total for two phases of research, and provided on-the-ground support including transport and interpreters.