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Want to help shape the future of the energy system?

Flexibility Beta

We need you to join our trial crew!

At myenergi, we are recruiting existing zappi customers to help us understand and shape the future of the energy system by participating in a demand side response trial. Being part of the trial will mean that myenergi can make small adjustments to how and when you charge, with the aim of reducing stress on the electricity grid and maximising the potential for renewable generation – but you remain in control at all times.

In the immediate term we are trialling this service to better understand how it works with myenergi devices, how best our customers can meet the needs of an increasingly renewable electricity grid. It is our aim that we quickly take these learnings and evolve this into a full service for myenergi customers.

If you’re ready, you can sign up now, but if you need to hear a bit more, we have done our best to explain what demand side response is, how it works, and how it can benefit consumers and the grid.

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What is demand side response?

Demand side response (sometimes called ‘DSR’) is a way to use energy more intelligently, especially in the context of the growth of renewable generation and the surge in electricity demand from low carbon technologies such as electric vehicle charge points and heat pumps.

‘Demand side’ refers to this activity being related to electricity consumption rather than generation, and ‘response’ refers to this activity being about electricity demand being turned down, turned up, or shifted in time – in other words, making electricity demand more flexible.

You may have heard about demand side response through the recent Electric Vehicle (EV) Smart Charge Point Regulations, which mean that all new EV charge points must be smart, including being able to both increase or decrease the rate of electricity flowing through the charge point, as well as change when the charge point is charging the vehicle.

We have produced the video below to explain what the EV Smart Charge Point Regulations when it comes to charging your vehicle.

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Why do we need demand side response? 

Increased flexibility of electricity demand is needed for a number of reasons, including as a response to the increase in renewable power generation. These forms of generation vary based on the weather – for example, how sunny or windy it is – so cannot provide power all day, every day, and therefore flexibility – alongside through things like energy storage – helps to ensure that we can become more reliant on clean, green energy, even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

In the past, flexibility has been provided by things like coal power stations, but these are now closing as they are not only incredibly old, but they are incredibly polluting. We need demand side response to help to reduce the peaks and fill in the troughs in our electricity generation, which will ultimately need to cheaper, greener power.

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How does demand side response work? 

Demand side response works by electricity demand being reduced, increased, or shifted. Businesses or industrial customers can agree to adjust significant amounts of consumption in order to participate in demand side response. Consumers do not participate in demand side response individually, but instead can participate via aggregators, ranging from energy companies to wider electrical device platforms.

Within the EV Smart Charge Point Regulations, demand side response is provided for by ensuring that charge points can respond remotely to signals from a third party to increase or decrease the rate of charge, or to change the time of the charge.

In practice, these signals can be quite subtle and temporary – for example, a charge point may be asked to reduce its charge rate for 30 minutes – so most customers should not even notice the interventions of a DSR service.

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Who benefits from demand side response?

Demand side response should ultimately help to reduce costs across the energy supply chain. In addition, because it helps to maximise the use of renewable generation, it helps boost security of supply – as we can increasingly rely on the natural resources available at home, rather than importing fossil-fuels from far-away.

It can help consumers and businesses to cut their total energy costs, as well as the emissions relating to their energy consumption. Indeed, the Association of Decentralised Energy calculates that demand side response could save UK energy consumers a total of £2.3 billion by 2035.

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