Technology Collaboration Programme

About Us

'Socio-technical research to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions'

The User-Centred Energy Systems mission is to provide evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions.


Stategic Plan

Users TCP’s Vision

To be the world-leading international collaboration platform for policy-relevant socio-technical research on user-centred energy systems.

Users TCP’s Mission

To provide evidence from socio-technical research on energy use and production, to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions.

Strategic Context

The energy sector is undergoing an unprecedented period of change. The environmental imperative to decarbonise requires a rapid increase in demand-side energy efficiency, alongside growth of intermittent distributed renewable generation at the grid edge, placing energy in the heart of communities. Simultaneously, digitalisation is changing wider social expectations of service, value and usability. These social and environmental forces are turning the energy system inside out, making it imperative that technology designers and policy makers properly understand how people permit, adopt and use new energy technologies.

People use technologies to convert energy into the services they want. To do this, technologies need to be useable – and their services must satisfy users’ needs. Poorly designed technologies throughout the supply chain (hardware, software and business models) that are not used as intended, and do not satisfy user needs lead to ‘performance gaps’ which are both energy and economically inefficient. Policies that do not take account of user behaviour hold back the energy transition. Adopting a ‘systems perspective’ makes people—technology designers, policy makers, intermediaries and end users—as integral as hardware and software to delivering an energy system that meets our wider social, environmental and economic goals. This ‘socio-technical’ approach is core to the User-Centred Energy Systems TCP.

Rationale for the Users TCP and its role in the IEA Energy Technology Network

There is a need both for better understanding of the role of users within energy systems, and for this understanding to be bought together with expertise in technologies to accelerate the energy transition. The IEA Technology Collaboration Programme comprises over 6000 technology experts – complementing this expertise, the Users TCP provides a home for international networks of social researchers, economists, political scientists and policy makers to work collaboratively on policy-relevant sociotechnical energy issues. The objectives for 2020-2025 focus on areas where user choices and actions play a large role in determining both the variability and overall level of power and energy use.

Objectives for 2020-2025

  • Provide impartial, reliable and authoritative research, guidelines and recommended practices to policy/decision makers and implementers based on international evidence.
  • Establish at least four international networks of expertise on socio-technical aspects of energy use.
  • To work with other TCPs to provide multi-disciplinary research on key energy transition topics.

A set of actions

The Users TCP’s Tasks are the delivery mechanisms of our Strategy. The following set of actions contains Tasks that the Users TCP will undertake and other likely topics of future work.

Information provision: The role of digitalisation in socio-technical systems change

  • Developing a common framework for creating the social licence to operate in automated consumer-centred flexibility markets through the Social Licence to Automate Task
  • Leading global knowledge sharing through the Global Observatory on Community Self-Consumption and Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading

Interfaces design: The role of design in socio-technical systems change

  • Potentially undertaking new work on energy technology interface design and usability for key end user technologies such as heating and cooling.

Behaviour change: The users’ response to the changing energy system

  • Applying the TCP’s Behaviour Change framework in hard to reach sectors of the community, for example within fuel poor households and small businesses through the Hard-to-Reach Energy Consumers Task
  • Enabling the sharing of expertise between government behavioural insights practitioners through the Energy-sector Behavioural Insights Platform

Systems change: The systems’ response to the changing expectations of the user

  • Fostering the uptake of energy services through comparative analysis and training on successful business models through the Business Model Strategies Task
  • Setting out the regulatory conditions for energy efficiency interventions to be rewarded in future energy markets in which performance can be more accurately measured
  • Potentially undertaking new work on systems change, social innovation and energy transitions

Developing the Users TCP’s networks of socio-technical expertise will enable us to collaborate on multi-disciplinary projects with other TCPs focussed on technologies. We will seek to work with ISGAN on the digitalisation related Tasks and with other TCPs where appropriate.

The User-Centred Energy Systems Academy will build upon the success of the DSM University, providing a valuable dissemination tool for this and other TCPs, as well as the broader international energy community.

The Users TCP is fully resourced to take forward the planned work programme. It is adopting a more strongly member country led model for initiation of new Tasks and strategic development of the TCP. It is actively recruiting new members – focusing on countries and sponsors that could make a significant contribution to Tasks and bring in new ideas. We will work with the IEA Secretariat to identifying new opportunities to collaborate both within and beyond the IEA community.

Task Leader
University College London (UCL), United Kingdom

Task/cost-shared: Task-shared

Timing: September 2019 to February 2025

Contact: Anna Gorbatcheva

Task Leader
Sustainable Energy Advice, New Zealand

Task/cost-shared: Cost-shared (NZD 55,000)

Timing: Phase 2: August 2023 to July 2026

Contact: Sea Rotmann 

Task Leader
Chalmers University, Sweden

Task/cost-shared: Task-shared 

Timing: Jan 2021 to Dec 2023.
ExCo approved extension to Feb 2025  

Contact: Anna Åberg 

Task Leader
The Behaviouralist, United Kingdom

Task/cost-shared: Cost-shared 
(25,000 Euros with option to fund more trials)

Timing: March 2023 to February 2025  

Jesper Akesson:

Task Leader
Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria  

Task/cost-shared: Task-shared 

Timing: November 2022 to October 2024  

Lisa Diamond: 

Task Leader
Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy,
Netherlands and the Renewables Grid Initiative, Germany  

Task/cost-shared: Cost-shared (20,000 Euros)

Timing: March 2023 to February 2024  


Diana Süsser: 

Task Leader
IEA Secretariat (as Task Coordinator)  

Task/cost-shared: Cost-shared (15,000 Euros)

Timing: June 2023 to May 2024  

Contact: Emma Mooney

Executive Committee

David Shipworth
Vice Chair
Gerdien de Weger
Head of Secretariat
Samual Thomas
Secretariat Support
Vikki Searancke
IEA Desk Officer
Emi Bertoli
AustraliaPrimaryDavid AtkinsDepartment of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
AustraliaAlternateSharon RosenrauchDepartment of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
AustriaPrimaryTara EsterlAIT Austrian Institute of Technology
AustriaAlternateSabine MitterRepublic of Austria Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK)
BelgiumPrimaryFrançois BrasseurAttaché, Federal Public Service Economy, SPF Economie
BelgiumAlternateGeert DeconinckKU Leuven – ESAT/Electa
CanadaPrimaryBen CoppOffice of Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Canada
FinlandPrimaryJussi MäkeläSenior Advisor
Business Finland
IrelandPrimaryHannah JulienneSustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
IrelandAlternateMr Ciarán LavinSustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
ItalyPrimarySimone MaggioreRicerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE S.p.A.)
Power Systems Economics Transmission
ItalyAlternateMarco BorgarelloRicerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE S.p.A.)
Power Systems Economics Transmission
KoreaPrimaryHwan-Jung JungKorea Energy Agency (KEA)
KoreaAlternateSangku ParkKorea Energy Agency (KEA)
NetherlandsPrimaryGerdien de WegerNetherlands Enterprise Agency
NetherlandsAlternateNicole KerkhofNetherlands Enterprise Agency
New ZealandPrimaryLorenz Magaard-RomanoMinistry of Business, Innovation and Employment
New ZealandAlternateMikey SmythMinistry of Business, Innovation and Employment
NorwayPrimaryTomas SkjølsvoldNorwegian University of Science & Technology
NorwayAlternateTor BrekkeENOVA SF
SwedenPrimaryTBASwedish Energy Agency
SwedenAlternateHelena KarresandSwedish Energy Agency
SwitzerlandPrimaryMarkus BareitSwiss Federal Office of Energy
SwitzerlandAlternateKlaus RivaSwiss Federal Office of Energy
United KingdomPrimaryEmma ClaydonDepartment for Energy Security & Net Zero
United KingdomAlternate (Chair)David ShipworthUCL Energy Institute
University College London
United StatesPrimaryMarc LaFranceUS Department of Energy
United StatesAlternateJonathan CohenUS Department of Energy


There are three steps to joining the TCP as a country or sponsor:

1. Talk with us – Express an interest in joining the Technology Collaboration Programme by contacting the TCP Head of Secretariat. We will promptly share information on activities, participation obligations, benefits and the process to join the Programme. We would be happy to discuss any questions you might have.

2. Meet with us – Attend an Executive Committee meeting and Task meetings as an Observer.

3. Write to us – To complete the process of joining, you send a letter to the IEA Executive Director identifying the contracting party, the Executive Committee member from that country, and the Tasks you will participate in. Immediately upon receiving a copy of that letter, the UsersTCP will consider you to be a member.

Why should your organisation become a member of the User-Centred Energy Systems TCP? With end-users becoming central to energy transitions globally, the UsersTCP is unique, as the only international research programme focussing on the vital roles of people and technology in energy systems. Join us to be part of a collaborative research network focussed on designing technologies, policies, and business models fit for today’s user-centred energy systems.

To learn more about how to participate contact us:
Benefits of participation

  • Enables complex and/or expensive projects to be undertaken. Many countries do not have the expertise or resources to undertake every desirable research project. A collaborative project enables the strength and contribution of many countries to undertake collectively what individually would be prohibitively expensive.
  • Enhances national R & D Programmes National researchers involved in international projects are exposed to a variety of ideas and approaches which will ultimately benefit and enrich their own work. Promotes standardisation Collaborative work encourages the use of standard terminology, referencing, units of measurement, while also encouraging the portability of computer programmes, and common methodology, procedures and reporting formats make interpretation and comparison easier.
  • Accelerates the pace of research development Interaction among project participants allows cross-fertilisation of new ideas, helping to spread innovative developments rapidly, while increasing the range of approaches employed. Promotes international understanding Collaboration promotes international goodwill, and helps participants broaden their views beyond their national perspective. The UsersTCP Programme provides an international platform of work. This is the only international organisation that addresses management of energy on the demand side of the meter in a collaborative manner.
  • Reflects latest trends and issues New areas of work are continually added to the Programme’s scope to address changes in the energy market. Saves time and money Members fund a portion of the international team’s work but have access to all project results.
  • Creates important networks Specialists active in socio-technical research have the opportunity to work with other key experts from around the world.
  • Increases the size of the technology database Collaboration among multiple countries creates a pool of information much larger than a single country could assemble by itself. Permits national specialisation Countries can focus on particular aspects of a project’s development or deployment while maintaining access to the entire project’s information.