The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has published its code of conduct, having teamed up with the UK’s leading demand side response (DSR) aggregators to develop the voluntary scheme.
The code, dubbed ‘Flex Assure’, is designed to lead into a Code Compliance Scheme slated for early next year and aims to establish a set of common standards for aggregators and service providers in the DSR sector.
The ADE has been joined by 17 aggregators and eight additional industry stakeholders in the development of Flex Assure, and it is hoped the code will provide businesses and C&I site owners with enough confidence to participate in DSR markets, which ADE estimates could be valued at £600 million by 2020.
The code itself focuses on five specific areas, proposing minimum standards in each category. Those five areas include sales and marketing, technical due diligence and site visits, proposals and pre-contractual information, customer contracts and complaints.
Tim Rotheray, director at the ADE, lauded the potential of DSR and National Grid’s ambition of citing as much as 50% of balancing capability from demand response by 2020, but said the industry faced a challenge of bringing more businesses on board.
“Aggregators have technical and policy expertise which can help sites fully capture the benefits of DSR, providing a route to market for those businesses which do not want to invest time and capital into energy specialisation.
"Flex Assure will give potential and existing DSR customers a common set of standards by which to compare aggregators and their claims and ensure they are able to quickly understand which providers meet those standards,” he said.
The voluntary nature of the code of conduct was discussed last month after ADE’s head of business development John Bryant outlined the scheme at National Grid event.
Some questioned if the code offered enough 'teeth' to ensure compliance, with Flexitricity’s chief strategy officer Alastair Martin saying the 'naming and shaming' aspect of the scheme would suffice.
Meanwhile, Limejump’s head of trading and operations Rob Sherwood calling for full licensing, adding that a "volunteer scheme is just another layer on top of a complicated industry which needs a full shake up.