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Demand Flexibility service: Britain will pay citizens to consume less energy

As the mercury column falls below zero, the UK tests its demand response service

The tests carried out in 2022 had given the expected results and today, with the collapse of temperatures, Great Britain is preparing to activate for the first time the Demand Flexibility service to the question with which to attenuate the peaks in energy consumption. The instrument was developed in 2022 by National Grid ESO, the UK electricity grid operator, involving more than one million households and businesses with the aim of providing flexibility on a large scale. The service allows you to “participate in the market” by consuming less energy at certain times, and receiving in exchange for incentives in money.

Read also UK energy bills: government freezes them for 2 years

A large project realized obviously thanks to the participation of 26 electricity distribution companies, including British Gas, eon, Octopus Energy and EDF and aggregators.

A reward for those who decide to consume less

The details of the active service are still unknown. National Grid ESO has reported that during the first two tests carried out in 2022, the Demand Flexibility Service produced a total of 314.2 MWh of demand reduction. And that the operation will be activated for the first time today from 17:00 to 18:00.

“This does not mean that electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried,” the National Grid said. The company expects that participation will continue to grow and that new suppliers will register to participate in the service and receive compensation to consume less energy. According to Ofgem, the demonstration events included a guaranteed acceptance price for participating suppliers of £3,000 per MWh.

What is certain is that Britain expects a rise in energy demand. The UK Health Safety Agency extended the level 3 cold alert until Wednesday, January 25, and in some locations the thermometer quickly reached minus 10°C. Among the security measures the network operator also imposed to prepare three plants’ coal thermoelectrically. As confirmed by the same company via social media it is only a precautionary intervention and it is not said that they will be used.

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