Households using the Homely Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) Assist service – enabled by Homely Smart Home Technology – were able to reduce their heat pump energy draw by an average of 800W during DFS sessions in its first month of operation, reported the smart home energy optimiser.
The service operates by responding to a DFS event notification from National Grid ESO and creating a new heating system. This means that the heat pump will add more heat to a consumer’s home over the preceding hours, maintaining the customer’s set temperature whilst the heat pump remains dormant during the DFS event. This is done automatically via Homely with customers only required to opt-in to the scheme.
“Cleverly, Homely works out exactly the most efficient way to do this, using its existing knowledge of the heating characteristics of the home,” explained Dr Petruskevicius, Homely inventor and head of smart home at Evergreen Energy.
The 800W capacity reduction reported as a result of the Homely DFS Assist is “significantly higher” than manual alterations such as turning down heating or switching off a dishwasher, added the company.
Consumers signed up to participate in DFS events through their energy provider to receive financial rewards. One customer recorded savings of £9.96 in an hour by using Homely DFS Assist, according to the company.
“What is most exciting is how scalable it is. With hundreds of thousands of heat pumps expected to be fitted over the coming years, Homely can have a massive impact on network protection while keeping homeowners comfortable,” continued Dr Petruskevicius.
“All Homely customers need do is opt in and we do the rest behind the scenes. If, during an event, the home does drop below a certain point Homely knows to kick the heat pump back in and revert to the original schedule. We believe that the key to getting people to buy into initiatives like DFS is to let the technology take the strain, not the customer.”
The technology was also praised by Evergreen Energy’s managing director Helen Boothman who commented: “Heat pumps are vital if the UK is to reach its 2050 Net Zero targets. We’re delighted to show that Homely can also play a significant role in balancing the electricity grid and keep coal-powered stations offline.”
As the DFS test period deadline approaches, reports of the consumer and grid benefits obtained via the scheme continue.
During the first two DFS results consumers overdelivered by more than 35%, whilst the first five DFS events saw over 78-MWh of real and projected demand reduction.
Consumers are also experiencing financial benefits from the live DFS events. A case study by OVO Energy – which joined DFS in November last year – found that their customers had been awarded over £23,000 over the course of the two live events, which took place on 23 January and again on 24 January.