Demand side response (DSR) is all about intelligent energy use. Through DSR services, businesses and consumers can turn up, turn down, or shift demand in real-time.

What is Demand Side Response?

Demand Side Response simply involves businesses increasing, decreasing, or shifting their electricity use – in response to a signal – to help balance Britain’s electricity system. In return they receive strong financial incentives, lower their bills, reduce their carbon footprint and play an important role in the transition to a low carbon energy system. Participating in DSR makes perfect sense for any business that is serious about being environmentally responsible.


Why is DSR important for the energy industry?

With more renewable generation – such as wind and solar – coming online we are seeing a requirement for increased system flexibility to balance the system, along with changes in where we can source flexibility and capacity. National Grid ESO believes that DSR and other forms of flexible technology, such as storage, can help to provide the capacity and flexibility needed to operate the electricity system in tomorrow’s world. 

So while this new reality creates challenges in operating the grid, it presents exciting opportunities for energy users. Power Responsive aims to make sure there is a level playing field for both supply side and demand side solutions in Britain’s energy markets – and to help businesses take full advantage of these opportunities.

DSR is an important tool to help ensure a secure, sustainable and affordable electricity system. It can help us soften peaks in demand and fill in the troughs, especially at times when power is more abundant, affordable and clean.

For business and consumers, DSR is a smart way to save on total energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

By encouraging greater and wider participation, collectively we can turn an industry problem into a customer opportunity.

Participating in demand side response

Demand side providers can deliver services by either reducing their demand or taking advantage of onsite generation.

You can participate if you're a:

  • large industrial and commercial customer;
  • small to medium enterprise; or
  • aggregator.

Contact us to discuss providing this service.

Demand side response opportunities

We believe that demand side response (DSR) has a vital role to play in the evolution of electricity markets.

  • DSR gives customers more insight and therefore more control.
  • DSR helps to reduce costs across the energy supply chain.
  • Security of supply is improved by enabling everyone to make better use of alternative energy sources

Businesses of all shapes and sizes can make money, reduce their bills and cut their carbon footprint by getting involved in DSR.

This fast-growing market is all about using energy more intelligently. It provides flexibility that enables National Grid ESO to balance Britain’s electricity system cost-effectively, while our energy landscape changes rapidly. If your business has the flexibility to increase, decrease, or shift its electricity use, then the power is in your hands to take full advantage.

Reports and data

Useful links

Power Responsive

Power Responsive is a stakeholder-led programme, facilitated by National Grid ESO, to stimulate increased participation in the different forms of flexible technology such as Demand Side Response (DSR) and storage.

Frequency response services

Our licence obligation is to control system frequency at 50Hz plus or minus 1%. Find out how to work with us.

Reserve services

Find out how we access sources of extra power, so we can manage unforeseen demand increase or generation unavailability.

Operational Transparency Forum

Every Wednesday, we hold an open technical industry forum to discuss recent operational actions we have taken in the Electricity National Control Centre (ENCC) and answer any questions.


Get in touch

To get in touch with us you can call on 01926 654611, or email us using the link below.