Person checking phone while charging their Electric Vehicle

Domestic Electric Vehicle charging to help the ESO balance the energy system for the first time

As part of a new trial initiated via Power Responsive, domestic households will offer real-time flexibility to the ESO balancing activities through EV charging for the first time. 

Households with smart Electric Vehicle (EV) charging capability will adapt their charging schedules in response to instructions sent from the ESO. The trial will run until April 2024, with more providers expected to enter the trial over the coming months. 

The trial, which begins this week and will run until April 2024, is part of a wider project that aims to make Balancing Mechanism (BM) operational metering standards more proportional for small-scale assets, therefore allowing them to actively participate. The BM is the main tool the ESO uses to balance supply and demand in real-time in Great Britain. 

The trial will explore whether these assets can meet the necessary requirements  and provide the relevant data to compete in a range of ESO markets going forward. It will also look at how processes and systems will need to be adapted to accommodate these new types of energy resources in the future. 

The ESO recognises the important role that smaller-scale assets, in particular EV charging capability, will have in providing flexibility in our future energy system. Our latest Future Energy Scenarios sets out that by 2030, there could be up to 6GW of demand side response  from smart charging in the transport sector alone. Understanding how these assets interact with the energy system, the flexibility they can offer and the value this can bring to all consumers is an important step in shaping the role of these assets in our markets of the future. 

Power Responsive is a stakeholder-led programme facilitated by the ESO which aims to stimulate increased participation in the different forms of flexible technology. Bringing industry and energy users together in a co-ordinated way to grow participation in Demand Side Response (DSR) will provide flexibility that enables the ESO to balance Britain’s electricity system cost-effectively, while our energy landscape changes rapidly.