UCL Energy Institute

Mr Simon Elam

Mr Simon Elam

Principal Research Associate

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
17th Jun 2013

Research summary

Simon established the thriving Smart Energy Research Group (SERG) that conducts empirical, data-driven research investigating the drivers of energy demand in domestic buildings.

Key projects:

Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL)

The primary objective of SERL is the creation of a unique research platform for the UK energy sector. SERL has transformed UK energy research through the long-term provision of high quality, high-resolution energy data that will enable intervention, observational and longitudinal studies across the socio-technical spectrum. SERL is a £7m, 5-year, multi-partner collaboration funded by an EPSRC Strategic Equipment grant (EP/P032761/1). 

The SERL Observatory panel comprises 13,000 households across Great Britain who have provided informed consent for SERL to collect their smart meter data, link it to relevant contextual data and provide it to researchers in a secure lab environment to facilitate innovative research. SERL Observatory data is a longitudinal dataset with records from August 2018 with updates provided to researchers on a quarterly basis.

Energy Demand Observatory and Laboratory (EDOL)

EDOL is a £9m, 5-year project in collaboration with the University of Oxford, funded by an EPSRC Programme Grant (EP/X00967X/1).

EDOL Vision: transform residential energy use with data driven solutions, policies, and innovation to help meet UK net-zero ambitions. 

EDOL Goal: provide a unique disaggregated, consistent, flexible, longitudinal research platform utilising UK domestic energy data linked to a multitude of contextual socio-technical data streams e.g., from in-home sensors, smart appliances, IoT devices, ethnographic surveys etc.

MAGC project - Impact Evaluation Studies

This project is funded by the World Bank (IFC), with research conducted in collaboration with the University of Cape Town. The objective of the study is to improve the green building certification systems in developing markets with respect to energy savings. The project will evaluate the performance of green buildings (built according to EDGE standards) compared to conventional (non-green) domestic buildings. The initial project will focus on buildings in South Africa as the first in a series of case study countries.

Teaching summary

Research Data Management lectures on several BSEER MSc courses.


University of New South Wales
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2008
University of Lancaster
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1994


Simon is a Principal Research Fellow at University College London, and Director of the Smart Energy Research Lab (SERL) and the Energy Demand Observatory and Laboratory (EDOL). He works across several research projects with a particular focus on improving the evidence base in the end-use energy demand sector and retains a keen interest in the socio-technical factors influencing energy consumption in domestic buildings. Simon is a dedicated and highly capable researcher and programme manager with, prior to academia, a 10+ year career in Business Intelligence and Information Management (often in a consulting capacity) that has provided a great deal of successful experience managing the complex process that transforms data into insight.