Energy supply and its security are at the forefront of global debate, being a constant source of uncertainty in planning for the future. Energy impacts on wellbeing and economic development are complex due to their interplay with national regulations and internationally negotiated treaties. Our rapidly expanding energy use, delivered mainly through fossil fuels, has created environmental impacts that present us with the most challenging agendas for the 21st century. Proceeding with existing production methods and consumption habits, exacerbated by the ever increasing global engines of growth, will further erode our scarce resources increasing pollution, contributing to and creating global economic instabilities. Hence, transformative solutions to low carbon energy production combined with demand reductions will need to be at the core of our policies not only to address resource scarcity but also the impact of changing climate. Scientists and engineers have a clear responsibility to devise and deliver creative and radical solutions to address these challenges. These solutions will undoubtedly necessitate the creation of challenging socio-economic interfaces that can provide the necessary platforms to deliver people-centric comprehensive approaches which provide high probability of acceptability and adaptability. Rapid demographic change is creating urban stress arising from the increase in the proportion of people living in cities, from 50% at the present time to around 70% (6.5 billion) in 2050. In the UK and elsewhere this is compounded by an ageing population and the growing numbers of the “fuel poor” who are being disenfranchised by constantly increasing energy prices. While rising fuel prices create positive incentives for those with access to capital to implement low carbon measures, those unable to make the investments are often left struggling to heat poorly performing homes and to afford essential travel. This issue is of major concern to policy makers and is rarely out of the headlines. This is of course also an international opportunity. Cities currently contribute over 40% of global emissions. Cities and the behaviour patterns of their inhabitants therefore provide the most pressing challenge that needs addressing when faced with our global responsibility to reduce emissions.