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Innovation Link evaluation and evolution – request for feedback

23 July 2021

Innovation Link evaluation and evolution – request for feedback [ 220 kb]

Citizens Advice welcomes the opportunity to respond to the request for feedback for Innovation Link. Citizens Advice has statutory responsibilities to represent the interests of energy consumers in Great Britain and provides both statutory and non-statutory advice services to energy consumers.

Citizens Advice recognises the positive impact that Innovation Link has had for businesses looking to offer innovative products and services in the energy sector and supports the current design of the service to enable innovators to better understand the regulatory framework and how to work within

it. We recognise and welcome the consistent theme identified by CEPA in its evaluation that Innovation Link has helped to ensure that innovation is focused on improving consumer outcomes. We also agree with CEPA’s evaluation that Innovation Link has had a positive impact on innovators.

However, at this stage of considering the next steps of the evolution of Innovation Link, we believe there are opportunities to explore the use of policy sandboxes to help improve the accessibility of new energy products and services for people in vulnerable circumstances. Considering how policy and consumer needs interact in projects could help ensure that groups of consumers who risk exclusion will not face barriers to engaging with beneficial new services1. Doing so could also help identify and overcome potential barriers for consumers more widely, ensuring that products and services that make it to the market are successful and sustainable. This document is entirely non-confidential and may be published on your website.