This theme will make true optimisation of the energy system, with a focus on the role of the end user, a central focus. Understanding and enabling end-user preferences is critical to ensuring a balance between demand and supply options. Developing innovative fore-sighting methods will ensure the end users’ views are captured in future energy scenarios. This will include understanding emerging social trends, lifestyles, routines and practices that are likely to impact on energy use. Policy and regulatory enablers will be developed to encourage participatory exploration of future energy systems. Measuring and building trust through tools and practices between customers and service providers is a critical area of research to enable end-user participation in whole-of-system planning.