A smart, flexible system that makes the best use of all the energy resources available will enable us to meet our customers’ needs in a balanced, efficient and economical way.

Our aim is to create balancing services markets that meet our changing system needs, and in which all technology types can compete on a level playing field. To achieve this, we will:

  • provide market information that plainly sets out our needs;

  • simplify our products to create transparency; and

  • ensure routes to market for all participants.

We will publish updates on services and system needs via this page. We are keen to understand your views. You can get in touch with us to provide your thoughts and feedback at [email protected]. If you would like to be kept informed, please sign up to the mailing list using the link on the right.  

Please note: Given the challenges posed by COVID-19 we will be constantly reviewing our plans and several projects may be impacted.

Latest news

Enduring Auction Capability - Project launch

Update - 13 July 2021

We have launched the tender process to select a strategic partner to develop an enduring auction platform and will be following the indicative timeline below.

Indicative procurement timeline

You can register your interest to participate in the tender by responding to the Periodic Indicative Notice (PIN) by 13 August. 

Respond to the PIN

Find out more information in the full communication document.

Key updates

Reserve Reform Product & Service Design

Update – 14 September 2021

Following the co-creation workshops and an internal challenge and review process, we will deliver Negative Slow Reserve as the first service in the new suite of Reserve products. This update summarises the progress made thus far on Negative Slow Reserve and provides an update on other Reserve services.

Reserve Reform Product & Service Design

Reserve Reform Consultation

Update - 4 March 2021

We are co-creating the new reserve product suite with the industry, and this consultation aims to gather industry views on initial product designs which have been based on feedback from the industry workshop on 9 December 2020. 

Reserve product reform consultation

Relevant documents

national grid eso electrcitiy generation

Flexibility from Intermittent Generation

March 2020

In this report we provide an overview of our current markets and the barriers that we are aware exist for intermittent generation types, along with the work that we are doing to increase access to our markets for this specific technology group. With these enablers we hope to increase competition, unlock consumer value and facilitate open and transparent markets. These are some of the deliverables that we have committed to as part of the ESO Forward Plan, and we will be continuing to report progress through the monthly and quarterly Forward Plan progress reports.

Download the Wider Strategy for Flexibility from Intermittent Generation 

City glow lines with solar panels

Operability Strategy Report

Update - December 2020

We have updated our Operability Strategy Report which explains the challenges we face in maintaining an operable electricity system, how we are addressing them and how stakeholders can engage. We explain the learnings from the summer and show how our strategy addresses the challenges we faced.

Download the Operability Strategy Report 2021

National Grid ESO - Industry information - balancing data forecasts - computer showing data

Response and Reserve Roadmap

December 2019

This document updates our plans for the reform of our frequency response and reserve services.  It is our priority to reform the design of these services to ensure that they are capable of supporting the operation of the electricity system carbon-free by 2025. This document gives an update on the progress made since the publication of our 2017 System Needs and Product Strategy (SNaPS) document, the service-specific roadmaps, the ESO Forward Plan and initial publications on the service designs. 

Download the Response and Reserve Roadmap 2019