Demand Flexibility Service delivers MWs and savings

  • The ESO has so far run five planned demonstration test events of the Demand Flexibility Service, successfully delivering consumer demand flexibility at scale for the first time in British history.
  • Data from the first two events show that consumer engagement has exceeded expectations, with consumers overdelivering by over 35% against targets on both occasions.
  • To date the Demand Flexibility Service test events have delivered over 780MWh of real and projected demand reduction, whilst delivering participating providers with an anticipated £2.8million in savings.
  • More than 1 million households and businesses have now signed up to participate.
  • 26 providers are currently involved in the Demand Flexibility Service, including major electricity suppliers – British Gas, EoN, Octopus Energy and EDF.

Following the launch of the Demand Flexibility Service the ESO has successfully held five planned events to demonstrate the use of the service and to provide consumers and participating providers with a return for their participation.

These test events have successfully demonstrated that the Demand Flexibility Service can deliver flexibility at scale, enabling consumers and businesses across the country to benefit from shifting their electricity use away from a specific time period.

Following confirmation of the technical data the ESO can now confirm that on both the first and second tests consumer engagement in the Demand Flexibility Service has exceeded expectations.

In the first test household electricity providers delivered a 50% increase in electricity reduction compared to expectations, as their customers participated in the Demand Flexibility Service for the first time.

Across the second test, consumers also continued to deliver greater than expected engagement, reducing their electricity use by 35% more than expected.

Across both of the first two tests the Demand Flexibility service delivered a total of 314.2 MWh of demand reduction, which is equivalent to the amount of CO2 that a forest of more than 10,000 trees would absorb in a year.

Further test events will be carried out across the length of the service, with a minimum of two tests a month to be held between now and the end of March for each provider.

These tests will help providers to continue to add and include more customers in the service, be they households or small/medium sized businesses, who can still sign up to participate in this service. As new providers have signed up to join the service in recent weeks the ESO expects participation will continue to grow and that new providers will sign up to participate now that this service has proven to be successful.

Whilst these tests will continue to run this winter, the Demand Flexibility Service remains a live option for the ESO’s control room to use if needed, in order to maintain the ESO’s operational margins (the excess electricity held by the ESO at any one time).

Craig Dyke, Head of National Control

Delivering the first of the Demand Flexibility Service test events is a major milestone in the evolution of consumer flexibility in the UK. This service successfully proves that consumers up and down the country are standing by to get involved in flexibility solutions. These test results show that if called upon this service will help the ESO balance the national electricity network this winter and is a valuable addition to the ESO’s operational tools.