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Flexibility or snap: How bending energy demand can reduce need for expensive investment

electricity pylons

Ofgem’s consultation on their Forward Work Programme to build a fairer and greener energy system in Great Britain closes today. They have recommended demand shifting, storage, and interconnection as measures to “dampen the growth in peak demand” brought on by the electrification of heat, transport and services. Ofgem argue that reducing the peak electricity demand through a flexible energy system could save £5 billion per-annum, as there will be less need for investment in expensive network upgrades and plant generation.

Demand side response (DSR) has been touted as an essential step when building a greener energy system. Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, has said that “as we move towards Net Zero and the electrification it will require, new innovative solutions should be encouraged, including smart, flexible solutions”.

Flexible solutions, like off-peak heating, mean that we can harness the potential of electricity whilst managing demand. Off-peak heaters store heat during cheaper off-peak periods and then release it throughout the day.  The Committee on Climate Change’s net zero scenarios for residential buildings project that between 260,000 and 460,000 homes should be reliant on electric off-peak heating. As well as giving landlords and householders electricity at cheaper rates and a much higher level of awareness and control; electric off-peak heating and technologies like batteries could be a key to keeping energy costs at a minimum across the board. In a rapid electrification scenario, the costs of increasing plant generation and upgrading networks would be passed down to the consumer, so flexible solutions like storage heating could be vital in a just transition to a sustainable economy.

Several energy companies are already offering DSR services, allowing businesses and consumers to shift demand in real-time.  The market is likely to grow, and services are likely to adapt and expand, so becoming acquainted with flexible technology early on could prove beneficial.

Dimplex have already delivered connected solutions that offer flexibility to the network. Through market-leading products such as the Quantum off-peak heater and the cloud based Dimplex Control home energy management system, we are helping consumers adapt the ways in which they use energy to align with their needs and the needs of the planet.

For more information on our flexible energy systems, contact your local GDHV representative.