Child loading washing machine
Demand Flexibility Service

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) has been developed to allow the ESO to access additional flexibility when the national demand is at its highest  during peak winter days – which is not currently accessible to the ESO in real time. This new innovative service will allow consumers, as well as some industrial and commercial users (through suppliers/aggregators), to be incentivised for voluntarily flexing the time when they use their electricity.

As part of a range of tools designed to help manage the electricity system this winter, we want to collaborate with energy suppliers/aggregators to allow participating consumers and businesses to reduce their bills this winter.

Earlier this year, we ran a trial with Octopus Energy, where we successfully proved the proof of concept for a demand flexibility service. Following this, we have worked with suppliers, aggregators and consumer groups to scale this up to a national service.


Providing the service

This service is open to as many participants as possible, who need to meet the following requirements:

  • All assets would require half-hourly metering.

  • All assets must be able to respond for a minimum of 30 minutes.

  • 1 MW min unit size/100 MW max unit size.

  • Providers need to be able to respond to an instruction for day-ahead delivery.

  • Providers must provide relevant HH metering and baselining data to demonstrate delivery of demand reduction.

The following exclusions apply:

  • Assets that currently participate in any Balancing Mechanism or Ancillary services.

  • Assets that have a Capacity Market contract.

How the service will work

  • The ESO will work with suppliers/aggregators across the winter to understand the availability of consumers and businesses to participate.

  • To ensure that this service can help to manage the total electricity demand, if required, the ESO will run a number of tests over the course of the winter.

  • As part of the tests of this service, we will notify suppliers/aggregators a day ahead of the test to submit final numbers on the MW’s their customers will be able to provide. We will offer a guaranteed acceptance price for the tests. This will ensure that the tests will provide value to participants by providing a clear value for their voluntary involvement.

  • Once the bids from suppliers are accepted, the suppliers will reach out to consumers to inform them of the test period the following day, asking consumers to minimise electricity use in this hour window and to use electricity at different times of the day.

NGESO Workers collaborating at whiteboard

Demand Flexibility Consultation

In accordance with the requirements of EBR Article 18, National Grid ESO is holding a consultation on terms and conditions for a new Demand Flexibility Service. Please check the consultation webpage for more details.

EBR Article 18 Demand Flexibility Terms and Conditions

Demand Flexibility Materials

Watch the presentation by pressing the play icon on the image, or download the documents by using the link below the image.

Post-consultation Launch Webinar – Sept 2022 - download slides

An deeper dive into the proposed service design for a new Demand Flexibility service.

NGESO Worker on Laptop at Home

Mid-point consultation: questions and answers

A summary of the questions and answers following our post consultation launch webinar.

Past webinars:

Aug 2022: Pre-consultation Webinar 

An overview of the proposed service design for a new Demand Flexibility service. You can view the webinar here, and download the slides here

National Grid ESO - Early competition project updates - Sunset

Balancing Services

We procure services to balance demand and supply, and to ensure the security and quality of electricity supply across Britain's transmission system. You can find further information about the Balancing Services that the ESO uses at the link below.

Discover other Balancing Services