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EDF launches new product trials to save customers cash and carbon

Posted March 06, 2024
  • EDF to lead five new trial projects set to take place across the country
  • Over 2000 customers will be invited to test out new tariffs and energy storage solutions 
  • Energy supplier to work with Indra, Brighton & Hove City Council, Loughborough University and the University of Sheffield on the trials

EDF has been selected to start work on five new trials exploring how solar solutions for social housing, incentivised demand flexibility as well as using electric vehicles and heat pumps for electric storage, can help a wide range of customers across the country save cash and carbon.

Over 2,000 customers will be invited to take part in the trials, with 1,000 participating in schemes to shift in consumption, including being rewarded with free electricity if they can reduce peak consumption during the week.

Working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City council, another group of EDF customers in social housing properties will have solar panels installed, with some provided with a storage solution. EDF technology will then assess if there is any excess electricity stored and will look to find the best price and sell it back to the grid, with that money passed onto the customer.

The two electric vehicle charging initiatives will include a tariff focused on flexibility, utilising automated controls of EV charging to provide the best value to customers. And an export tariff to see how customers utilise bi-directional charging, which allows the power stored in (EV) batteries to be directed back towards the home and, if they have excess, the grid.

A new heat pump tariff will also be tested, providing owners with advice and automation so they can maintain their homes at temperatures which suit them, whilst saving cash and carbon by avoiding high-cost peak hours.

The trials, that have been backed by £1.3m of funding by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero as part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), will demonstrate the impact on consumers and the electricity grid based on conditions projected for 2030.

Created and developed by EDF’s Research and Development and Customer teams, each of the trials will last a number of months, the first recruitment of which begins in April. 

Data will be generated, collected and analysed throughout the trials to analyse the impact on customer bills and their usage. There will also be customer research and interviews to gain vital insights on their feasibility moving forward. 

EDF is joined on the project by four other partners:

  • Indra Renewable Technologies, established innovators, manufacturers and developers of EV and smart energy technology solutions
  • Brighton & Hove City Council who have robust net zero ambitions and are always exploring new ways to help their customers save money
  • Loughborough University who are experts in people-centred design 
  • The University of Sheffield who will look at system level analysis and market trends

This is the second phase of the project, with the first a feasibility study which explored various propositions, with customer feedback highlighting the need for customers to be provided with personalised advice and flexible tariffs, both of which are the backbone of phase two.

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director of Customers at EDF, said: “It is imperative we continue to look at ways we can save customers cash and carbon and being part of a project which is providing five exciting trials to do just that is incredibly important and exciting.

“Electricity use is set to double by 2050 so it is crucial that we explore new ways we can reduce pressure on the grid and customers’ pockets. Trialling new tariffs and assets and giving customers greater control will be vital if we are to achieve our goal of reducing the need for fossil fuels and truly achieve net zero homes.”

The announcement comes after EDF recently showed once again it is making a big impact on the UK supply and flexibility market, revealing that this winter so far over 139,000 households had saved 23 tonnes of carbon through its demand flexibility scheme, ‘Beat the Peak’.

About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1.5GW of renewable generation in operation and almost 14GW in planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Dalkia, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 14,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

About Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero provides dedicated leadership focused on delivering security of energy supply, ensuring properly functioning markets, greater energy efficiency and seizing the opportunities of net zero to lead the world in new green industries.

The funding from the Alternative Energy Markets Innovation Programme comes from the department’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio which provides funding for low-carbon technologies and systems and aims to decrease the costs of decarbonisation helping enable the UK to end its contribution to climate change. 

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