I confess I was always rather impressed by the Demand Response Association. Its public utterances were always pertinent, forceful and “took no prisoners.”
To my shame, I recall back in 2014 gently mocking its’ then chair, Sara Bell, for announcing that her own company Tempus Energy had lodged a legal action in the European Court of Justice (ECJ). She was petitioning against the entire way that the UK government was awarding funds under its Electricity Capacity Market scheme. Good luck with that, I scoffed.
The court proceedings took a very long while. Until November 2018. But to the general amazement, the ECJ then found in Tempus Energy’s favour. Cue much blustering and condemnation from all of the Big Six electricity companies.
Each of which seemed to have been relying on receiving the bi-annual multi-million £ handouts (worth £5.6 billion to date), available primarily to them under the completely fossil fuel-supply oriented criteria.
They co-ordinated a disinformation campaign caricaturing the Court judgement led by their mouthpiece, the monolithic Electricity UK. All of which seems to have convinced government ministers that the ECJ had merely criticised the administration of, rather than the entire structure of, the entire scheme.
Cue a fight back from the Demand Response Association? Er, no. Because that Association is no more.
Back in 2016 it was subsumed into the Association for Decentralised Energy (né the Combined Heat & Power Association). And its’ new parent Association, the ADE, has a number of other members who have – or whose owners have – been substantial beneficiaries of the old Capacity Market payments arrangements.
Not for the first time, the ADE has been left trying to face two ways, and is ending up pleasing nobody.
The result is that, when the entire demand response proposition has created its greatest ever opportunity to break through into the electricity mainstream, there is absolutely no trade association rallying support at all. It is all just left to Tempus Energy. And its indomitable CEO, Sara Bell. Concerning whom I no longer scoff.