The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has said the success of the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), renders the scheme a necessity rather than one used as “additional support.”
Following the undeniable triumph of the National Grid ESO’s (ESO) first DFS of winter 2023/24 – which saw 1.6 million households turn down their energy usage during peak times, saving over 3.3GWh of electricity – energy regulator Ofgem, revealed that the scheme would run once again this winter, commencing at the beginning of this week (30 October) until 31 March 2024.
Responding to the announcement, Sarah Honan, flexibility policy manager at the ADE said: “Demand flexibility is not merely an additional support for our energy system in times of stress, it is the only way we can reach net zero in a timely and cost-effective manner. The DFS is a major step towards that future, where wind and solar generation are not turned off in favour of carbon-intensive gas power, but instead, demand from households and businesses is used flexibly to meet the peaks and troughs of renewable generation.”
Honan also cited a study by the Centre for Net Zero which found that 81% of Octopus Energy Customers that partook in the DFS scheme last year would also be interested in increasing their demand to avoid renewable curtailment.
“We especially hope to see increased participation from UK companies who can use the service to alleviate still-high energy costs and support the national electricity system,” added Honan.
Energy UK, also welcomed the return of the DFS hailing the scheme as the first time domestic flexibility had been used to balance the grid “anywhere in the world.”
Responding to Ofgem’s announcement Naomi Baker, senior policy manager at Energy UK, said: “DFS was driven by need, as international gas prices impact bills, but highlights the innovative nature of our sector and the potential impact of ‘learning by doing’ as a viable route for delivering change at pace.“
Suppliers rally to join DFS for second year
A number of energy suppliers have announced their intention to join the DFS scheme for a second year and details of energy bill savings for customers participating are now being released.
EDF, was one such supplier, stating that customers could earn back as much as £100 credited into their account for taking part in the company’s ‘Beat the Peak.’
The energy supplier has said that 559,000 eligible domestic customers could earn up to £3 for every kWh of electricity they save during DFS events.
To illustrate how far shifting energy-intensive activities out of peak periods can go, EDF gave the following comparisons.
|Activity||Savings for switching from peak to off-peak|
|Using the washing machine||£3.00-£7.20|
|Using the tumble dryer||£3.38-£5.63|
“Reducing pressure on the National Grid during times when it is stretched is incredibly important to help it keep up with demand and reduce the nation’s carbon footprint,” said Philippe Commaret, managing director for Customers at EDF.
“Our smart meter customers are already making savings using our Energy Hub and thanks to this scheme, small changes, like putting the washing machine on later, could make a big difference in helping customers save even more cash and carbon.”
OVO has also announced it will partake in the DFS once again, launching it’s Power Move Plus service.
Like EDF, OVO claimed that customers could earn as much as £100 over the winter by participating in DFS-triggered events.
The ‘Power Move Plus’ DFS events will run alongside, the supplier’s existing ‘Power Move’ scheme which, according to the supplier, would allow customers to save an additional £60 during the DFS running period, by reducing their demand during peak hours between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays.
Last year, OVO customers shifted over 164,000kWh of energy demand away from peak times by participating in the DFS via the company’s ‘Power Move’ scheme.
“The DFS cut its teeth last year and showed that by rewarding people for taking collective action, we can drive positive change in our energy system,” said Mat Moakes, chief commercial officer, OVO.
“But when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, we need to help people make long-term changes. That’s why OVO’s Power Move scheme runs all year round and rewards people for shifting energy use out of peak energy times. It’s this consistent, collective action that will make the biggest impact over time.”