National Grid ESO has revealed the next Demand Flexibility Test scheduled for 22 November between 17:30 and 18:30.
This is set to be the second trial for the ESO’s demand flexibility service with the first test having been performed on 15 November between 17:00 and 18:00. Much like the first test, the second calls for a flexibility requirement of 200MW.
During this period, trialists of the scheme will be asked to reduce their energy consumption in a bid to provide further energy capacity for the grid. These tests are being performed at times when there is often high energy consumption.
The initiative was set out in the ESO’s Winter Outlook report in October, when the operator stated that while there is a risk of blackouts, it is “cautiously confident” that it had the tools to manage the predicted constraints.
Octopus Energy launched its own flexibility service dubbed Saving Sessions which provides customers with a financial incentive for turning down energy consumption amid these test periods. The first session saw 200,000 households reduce their electricity use, with the average household lowering its demand by over half (59%).
In doing so, more than 108MW in flexibility was provided to the energy grid.
“Giving consumers the chance to grab a bargain is a win-win-win: cleaning up the grid, cutting costs and delivering greater energy security,” said Alex Schoch, head of Flexibility at Octopus Energy Group, on the first Saving Sessions.
“Just like the yellow label products priced to clear in a supermarket, it doesn’t need everyone to take part, but those who do get cheaper energy for themselves and drive down waste and reduce costs for everyone else too.
“Octopus are proud to have pioneered this. Our huge investment in technology and customer relationships made this possible and we expect to see other companies follow suit.”
The service is still open to new registrants having already amassed over 400,000 signatories for the demand flexibility service. For this, there is a requirement for customers to have a smart meter installed.
Further flexibility options have been highlighted in recent weeks with hydrogen being touted as a potential option when the market has been fully developed. According to Aurora Energy Research, the clean energy carrier could be a cheaper alternative to coal-fired generation for flexibility.