Businesses on a Demand Side Response (DSR) scheme commit to reducing or shifting their energy consumption when UK electricity demand from the Grid threatens to exceed supply. Using our innovative PowerShift platform, businesses who can be flexible with their consumption are rewarded for shifting or reducing demand, or by making capacity available through onsite generation, when needed.
DSR creates opportunities for flexible businesses to earn revenue by supporting National Grid in times of peak demand or system stress. We help you scope out the energy-saving potential in your existing assets, identify the right scheme for you and get your business DSR-enabled. Once this is done, you can start earning.
What are the benefits of DSR?
- Unlock untapped revenue from your existing assets, whilst also helping to fulfil your sustainability goals.
- Valuable insight into your energy consumption patterns, helping you improve the energy efficiency of your business.
- Some DSR schemes such as Firm Frequency Response and the Capacity Market enable your business to be paid just for making capacity available to respond to events. This means your assets would still be generating revenue even where they are not required to deliver.
- By reducing your consumption, you’ll also be saving on your energy bill.
Get in touch using the eligibility form to find out if DSR could enable you to unlock a new stream of revenue. Once complete we will be in touch to take you through the next steps. We’ll analyse your half-hourly data and provide a report on your site(s) potential flexibility. We’ll supply and install our DSR enablement equipment, meaning your business could get started with DSR with little to no upfront cost.
If your business is looking to export electricity from onsite generation to the grid, then there could be costs associated with getting an export connection set up. In this case, we can support you through the application process and co-ordinate with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) on your business’ behalf.
Our DSR Offer
Earn revenue by helping the grid stay balanced. Shift or reduce your electricity consumption when demand is at risk of being higher than supply available on the Grid. Commit to making a set amount of capacity available during a stress event, we manage the response to the Grid and the payments to you.
You can expect this to happen 1-2 times a year, with no disruption to your operations and at little or no upfront cost to you.
Firm Frequency Response (FFR) is a service to manage sudden surges of demand on a second by second response basis to ensure that system frequency stays within the tolerance levels of ±1% of 50Hz. Offer your frequency services 8-10 times a year and help the National Grid manage fluctuations in forecasted volumes or problems on the transmission or distribution network. You’ll receive payment in return for being available when the system sends a stress signal.
Our Triad Response service helps you avoid high TNUoS costs during the 3 highest peaks of national demand from Nov – Feb. We will send you alerts when a triad is expected or if you wish we will automatically reduce your consumption in these periods in order for you to avoid these costs on your bill.
Here’s our process for getting you from eligible to earning
Getting your business Demand Side Response comfortable
For many businesses the biggest blocker to taking part in DSR is culture – not technology. Essentially, fear that changing electricity use will interrupt day to day business operations.
In practice there is normally plenty of energy saving potential in your assets and processes to make DSR doable, without disruption to your operations. It's just a case of working out where the potential is and how much flexibility there is and then proving it to stakeholders in your operations.
An effective way to approach this can be to run a pilot on one of your sites* to work out your benchmarks for different processes, for example refrigeration, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) and other production processes or back-up generation. This will show you the level of energy demand change that is safe for your customer experience and product quality, and you can build confidence from there.
Getting your business set up for Demand Side Response
The best paying DSR schemes require you to commit to reducing or shifting a minimum level of energy use and prove how much demand you reduced when called upon. Because we’re an aggregator, we can help you take part with relatively small amounts of electricity demand. But we need to be sure of your capacity and capability to respond quickly.
To get you set up correctly, we complete site assessments to confirm your potential, upgrade any hardware (like controls) and software (like your building management system). We can control your assets via our DSR platform so it’s not a burden on you or your staff. You do of course have the option to take control yourself.
Seeing the value and earning more
Once registered and installed, our DSR platform takes care of adjusting your electricity demand within the parameters we’ve agreed and tested together. From the information it provides, we then calculate payment due to you. It’s that easy.
But why stop there? To make sure you’re earning as much as possible, we’ll help you monitor the effect on your business processes, model what you could be earning as a bolder DSR participant, and increase the participating sites over time as your confidence grows.
After all, the more you earn through Demand Side Response, the lower your business’ energy charges.
Interested in DSR? We need to find out how much flexibility your sites might be able to deliver so we can tell you what it could be worth.
To start, it's helpful for us to learn a little more about your site. We'll then be able to assist in identifying flexible assets suitable for the various DSR schemes we offer. At present, we typically work with sites that can offer at least ~250 kW of flexibility.
Please use the form below or we can arrange a call directly if you have a complex site or estate. Our technical specialists will assess the preliminary information and get in touch with you directly to further discuss your DSR opportunities.
Alternatively send us an email for more information: DemandSideResponse@edfenergy.com
Demand side response frequently asked questions
What’s the minimum amount of capacity to get involved?
National Grid set minimum thresholds for the capacity they procure through each Demand Side Response (DSR) scheme (e.g. Firm Frequency Response = 10MW). As an aggregator, we can enable your business to extract revenue from smaller pockets of capacity. You’ll just need to be able to provide a minimum of 100kW of flexibility per site.
Will DSR disrupt my business?
We work closely with you to help determine the level at which you can participate without disrupting your normal operations. You set the limits and based on this, we’ll come up with a DSR solution tailored to your business needs. These parameters can then be adjusted as your knowledge of your DSR capability improves with experience.
Some businesses find they can participate in DSR by shifting energy-intensive processes to times when demand is lower, while other businesses will have processes that can be paused for a certain period without having any impact on the quality of their product or service. DSR rewards flexibility and you retain control by defining the parameters of your participation and setting the limits of your flexibility. For schemes that do not require a rapid response, you may opt to control your assets manually.
What happens during a DSR event?
Your business will receive a notification about the event. Depending on the scheme, DSR events can be triggered with prior notice of between four hours (Capacity Market) and one second or less (Enhanced Frequency Response). There are two ways that your business can participate in a DSR event.
How often you need to respond depends on your scheme. For the Capacity Market, based on recent trends, responses typically involve less than three events a year – although the number of events can always increase due to external factors. An example of this could be if something happened that adversely impacted system margin (the cushion between the level of demand and the available capacity on the supply side). On the other hand, avoiding the Triads (the three half-hours of highest demand on the British electricity transmission system between November and February, as set out by the National Grid) requires a regular response during the winter months in order to maximise the likelihood of avoiding all three.
You can select the right DSR schemes for your business according to how often you are prepared to respond.
Is it possible to participate by controlling assets manually?
Under certain DSR schemes – such as in the Capacity Market where four hours notice is given prior to an event – you can participate by manually controlling your assets. However, other schemes require a response time that is only attainable through an automatic system – such as Frequency Response schemes, which require delivery within seconds. Our platform is designed to enable your assets to respond automatically to signals from the National Grid, opening up a wide range of DSR schemes to your business.
Will my business lose control over its processes?
Some businesses find that they can participate in DSR by shifting energy intensive processes to times when demand is lower, while other businesses will have processes that can be paused for a certain period without having any impact on the quality of their product or service. DSR rewards flexibility and you retain control by defining the parameters of your participation and setting the limits of your flexibility. For schemes that do not require a rapid response, you may opt to control your assets manually.
What happens during a Demand Side Response event?
In all cases your business will receive a notification to inform you about the event. Depending on the scheme, DSR events can be triggered with prior notice of between 4 hours (Capacity Market) and 1 second or less (Enhanced Frequency Response). There are 2 ways that your business can participate in a DSR event.
1. we can set up your assets to respond automatically to event notifications within seconds if necessary (opening up the opportunity to participate in Frequency Response schemes).
2. Or, if you’d prefer to retain manual control over your assets, we can help your business to establish a process for manual DSR participation, and you can sign up to receive event notifications that prompt you to trigger your participation.
How often would my business have to respond to DSR events and how long do they typically last?
How often you need to respond depends on the scheme. For the Capacity Market, based on recent trends, responses typically are limited to less than three events per year – although the number of events can always increase due to external factors, for example, if something happens that adversely impacts system margin (the cushion between the level of demand and the available capacity on the supply-side). On the other hand, Triad avoidance requires a regular response during the winter months in order to maximise the likelihood of avoiding all three Triads.
You can select the right DSR schemes for your business according to how often you are prepared to respond.
What does it cost to get set up?
We will supply and install our DSR enablement equipment at your site(s), meaning your business could get started at DSR with little to no upfront cost. Any costs incurred will be netted off from revenues and spread over the lifetime of the contract. If your business is looking to export electricity from on-site generation to the grid, then there could be costs associated with getting an export connection set up. In this case, we can support you through the application process and co-ordinate with the DNO on your business’ behalf.
How can my business get involved?
Get in touch using the eligibility form to find out if DSR could enable you to unlock a new stream of revenue from your business’ assets. Once complete we will be in touch to take you through the next steps. We will analyse your half-hourly data and provide a report on your site(s) potential flexibility, and the benefits that come with this.
Why is Demand Side Response needed?
Two of the current challenges facing the UK electricity market are:
Quantity: the margin between peak demand and supply is at historic lows not seen since the industrial revolution due to the closure of fossil fuel power stations (carbonbrief.org)
Quality: increased reliance on renewable energies with fluctuating outputs such as solar and wind makes it harder for the National Grid to balance supply and demand.