Flexible energy demand is critical, both for this winter and for net zero 

Managing energy demand flexibly is critical, both for this winter and for net zero, says the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE). 

Flexible energy demand is critical, both for this winter and for net zero

With the Ofgem approval of the return of the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), an essential tool that helped ensure supply security, last winter saw over 1.6 million homes and businesses rewarded for adjusting their non-essential energy demand. 

The DFS launched recently and works by paying members to turn down their electricity use during peak demand on the electricity system. 

It was first launched last winter in response to fears over gas shortages and has been reintroduced to help National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) manage the energy system safely and securely. 

There will be several test events so that customers can be sure they will have a chance to participate and earn rewards of up to £3 per kilowatt hour, depending on provider offerings. 

A major step towards the future

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.  

“Indeed, the Centre for Net Zero found that 81% of surveyed Octopus Energy customers who participated last year would be interested in increasing their demand, or ‘turning up’ electricity use, in order to avoid renewable curtailment. 

“The ADE has been closely involved in the development of the DFS since its inception, and we hope this year can build on the success of last winter when participants delivered enough energy to power more than 10 million homes across the UK.  

Flexibility provider

“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. We encourage potential participants to explore their options for getting involved in the DFS through the ESO Registered Providers List (when it is published) and remind the public that they can participate either through their supplier or a dedicated flexibility provider.”