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National Grid sees consumer appetite for flexible energy usage soar

National Grid sees consumer appetite for flexible energy usage soar

There has been a significant rise in the number of customers benefiting from flexible energy usage, according to new data from National Grid Electricity Distribution. 

Participation in National Grid’s Low Voltage (LV) Sustain initiative rose by 22% last winter. This initiative offers domestic customers with low carbon technologies, such as EV chargers, heat pumps, and battery storage, the opportunity to receive rewards for adjusting their electricity usage in response to signals from their supplier or appointed aggregator. It aims to make flexibility more accessible by establishing a straightforward fixed requirement flexibility contract.

By enabling customers to adjust their energy usage, LV Sustain assists National Grid in understanding the optimal application of flexibility across various settings, aiding the network’s readiness for the transition to net zero. This flexibility reduces demand during peak times, lessening the necessity for significant infrastructure investments and helping to keep energy bills lower.

Across National Grid’s Midlands, South West, and South Wales licence areas, 176,000 customers have access to flexibility services at 1,426 LV locations.

Data from the latest round of flexibility procurement for the 2024-25 winter period shows that National Grid accepted 2.5MW of capacity from flexibility service providers (FSPs) registered through its Market Gateway platform. Additionally, flexibility was sought for High Voltage Long-Term needs across 65 locations, with awards made in 57, totalling 15.68MW of capacity. Technologies such as heat pumps, batteries, EV chargers, and solar are among those participating.

Following two rounds of procurement in March, nearly 12,000 assets are now participating, with a total of 74,000 registered on the Market Gateway platform.

Helen Sawdon, National Grid’s Flexibility Commercial Manager, commented on the positive market response, “Overall, this round of procurement has shown the market’s appetite for flexibility services remains healthy. It’s particularly encouraging to see more households getting involved with LV Sustain, underlining that they are finding it a simple and beneficial system to navigate.”

Market Gateway, a digital flexibility procurement tool, aims to streamline marketplace interactions and make flexibility more accessible for domestic customers and businesses. A recent partnership with Electron to integrate its flexibility market platform ElectronConnect with Market Gateway is set to further enhance market participation and lower barriers to entry.

Similarly, a partnership with flexibility market platform Piclo, announced in January, enables flexibility service providers to seamlessly access and participate in National Grid’s flexibility market offerings.

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