Consumers have overdelivered by over 35% across the first two Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) tests, according to National Grid ESO.
Launched at the beginning of November as an enhanced measure to keep the grid balanced over the current difficult winter, DFS sees the operator call for demand reduction over set periods of time.
It has now run five tests, which have delivered over 780MWh of real and projected demand reduction. In addition to the benefit this provides to the grid, this has delivered an anticipated £2.8 million in savings to participating providers.
There are now more than a million households and businesses signed up to participate, through 26 providers.
Over the first two tests, consumer engagement has exceeded expectations, with household electricity providers delivering a 50% increase in electricity reduction compared to expectations during the first test on Tuesday 15 November.
During the second test on 22 November, consumers reduced their electricity use by 35% more than expected.
“Delivering the first of the Demand Flexibility Service test events is a major milestone in the evolution of consumer flexibility in the UK,” said Craig Dyke, head of National Control.
“This service successfully proves that consumers up and down the country are standing by to get involved in flexibility solutions. These test results show that if called upon this service will help the ESO balance the national electricity network this winter and is a valuable addition to the ESO’s operational tools.”
The first test took place from 17:00-18:00 on Tuesday 15 November, and saw four companies participate; Octopus, DRAX, E.ON Next and Flexitricity.
National Grid ESO accepted 74.31MW for the first half an hour of the test, and 77.49MW for the second. The four providers submitted bids ahead of the event totaling 75.9MWh.
Following submission of settlement data for the period, the ESO has announced that a total of 125.6MWh was provided across the hour, a 58% increase on the volumes procured.
The total cost of this first test was £227,697.26, due to the Guaranteed Acceptance Price being set at £3,000/MWh, as previously announced. However, due to the over-delivery the actual cost of the demand reduction was £363,000.00.
The second test ran on the evening of 22 November between 17:30 and 18:30, with 13 providers procuring a total of 139.7MWh.
These providers were; CUBUK Ltd, Drax Energy Solutions Limited, Engie Power Limited, Eon Next Energy Limited, EvDOTEnergy Ltd, Flextricity Limited, GridBeyond Limited, Oaktree Power Limited, Octopus Energy Limited, Orange Power Ltd, Perse Technology Limited, V. powerU8lectric LTD, Zenobe Energy Limited.
National Grid ESO anticipated the cost to be £419,161.51. Following the submission fo the settlement data, the operator confirmed there was a total reduction of a total of 188.6 MWh.
As such, given the over-delivery, the the actual cost for the demand reduction was £567,390.00 across the hour.
National Grid ESO ran the third test on Wednesday 30 November between 17:30 and 18:30. Again 13 providers took part, with the ESO procuring 157.88MWh.
Given the volume procured at the Guaranteed Acceptance Price of £3,000/MWh, the operator expects the cost to be £473,656.31. This will be confirmed once settlement data is available.
The fourth test took place n Thursday 1 December between 17:00 and 18:00, with 14 providers participating and the ESO procuring 168.24MWh.
As such, it is anticipated to have cost £504,734.58, but this will be confirmed once settlement data is made available.
The number of providers continues to grow
DFS has grown since it was launched on 4 November, with 26 providers now signed up to the service.
This includes Octopus Energy, which was one of the most visible companies involved in the development of the service. Over the first test its customers provided 108MW of flexibility and 112MW over the second.
Over the first four tests, Octopus customers moved almost 450MWh of energy consumption out of peak times resulting in each customer saving an average of over £4 across the sessions. Collectively, they have saved over £1 million, according to the company.
The providers signed up to DFS currently are:
myenergi (via Orange Power)
Power Rewards App (via Orange Power)
Hugo Energy App (via SMS)
Shell Energy Retail (Via SMS)
Loop.homes (via SMS)
Domestic and Non-Domestic Providers
Labrador (via Perse Technology Ltd)
Tests to run till March as high power prices take hold
National Grid ESO will continue to run tests between now and March, with at least two tests a month.
The tests will allow providers to continue to add and include more customers in the service, the operator noted, be it households or small/medium sized businesses.
Given the growth in the number of providers in recent weeks, the ESO expect participation to continue to grow during the test period.
As well as the test, the DFS is also a live option for the ESO’s control room if it is needed. As such, it can call on the service to maintain operation margins if it requires.
This winter is expected to be particularly tight in Britain, given the ongoing gas crisis and its impact on supply and energy prices. We have now seen the first real challenges for National Grid ESO, with a period of low wind and cold weather over the beginning of this week pushing Day Ahead prices over £2,585/MWh on Monday 12 December.
DFS was used over the peak period on Monday evening, and additionally the ESO advised two coal units it has signed contingency contracts with to warm in the early hours. While ultimately these coal units were not used, the signal stands as testament to the challenges of meeting demand this winter.