INTRODUCING THE DEMAND FLEXIBILITY SERVICE
Several energy companies have announced they’re taking part in a new scheme this winter called the Demand Flexibility Service. This voluntary scheme aims to encourage energy customers with smart meters to reduce their electricity usage at specific times when supplies could be stretched.
The Demand Flexibility Service is helping to create a smart, flexible, energy network.
The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) has been developed by the National Grid, which manages the electricity system so that homes and businesses in England, Scotland and Wales can get the energy they need. It is being offered to consumers by participating energy companies. It allows you to opt-in and help the nation’s electricity system better handle peak electricity demand. These peak usage hours are typically from 4-7pm, but may vary. Once you’ve opted in, your energy company will alert you in advance when they would like you to reduce your use of electricity during a DFS event.
By encouraging customers to move some of their electricity use to earlier or later in the day, it can help the National Grid manage peak demand in a smarter way. This could reduce the risk of blackouts or having to rely on backup power generation. In return, consumers will be rewarded with a payment or credit from their energy company. This payment will be made according to their reduction in energy compared to how much they’d typically use in that time period on other days. Contact your energy supplier to find out exactly how they will be applying the incentive.
What you need to take part in the Demand Flexibility Service
Firstly, your energy supplier will need to be participating in the DFS.
Secondly, you’ll need a smart meter capable of taking half-hourly meter readings and you’ll need to give your energy supplier consent to use those readings.
And finally, you will also need to have opted-in to marketing communications so that your energy supplier can alert you when a DFS event is taking place
How much could you earn from taking part in the Demand Flexibility Service?
The National Grid has said it is planning for up to 12 test events to happen between early November 2022 and March 2023.
It is estimated that consumers could earn up to £100 if they take part in every event throughout the winter. The exact amount will vary according to:
- How much you can reduce your electricity consumption by.
- The number of times you take part.
- How much is paid by your energy company.
You are under no obligation to take part even if you opt-into the scheme. If you sign up and don’t reduce your electricity usage, or even use more than usual, there is no penalty.
Why has the DFS been introduced?
The DFS is designed to help people consume electricity in a more flexible way by rewarding them for reducing their electricity use during peak times. Having more flexibility in our electricity system is seen as important for two main reasons:
Helping when supplies are running low.
Electricity supplies can run low due to a larger demand from homes and businesses due to cold weather and longer, darker nights, combined with periods when less renewable energy can be produced.
Reducing use of backup electricity production.
During peak hours it is sometimes necessary to use additional, fossil fuel power generators. This can be more expensive and release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
How to save electricity during a DFS event
Consumers could choose to use power-hungry appliances like tumble driers, ovens, dishwashers and immersion heaters before or after the DFS event. Reducing electricity usage during the event, for example by using a microwave instead of an electric oven, would also help.
Modern televisions, laptop computers and energy-efficient lightbulbs typically use much less electricity, so changing the time of day when used would have less impact.
You can find advice on saving energy in our Energy Saving Tips section.
Consumers are advised to follow safety guidance on using electrical devices in the home. For example, Electrical Safety First recommends appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers aren’t run unattended overnight.
Which energy companies are taking part in the Demand Flexibility Service?
Domestic means a provider who supplies energy to individual households, non-domestic is providers who supply businesses, schools and other organisations
|Energy Provider||Domestic or Non-domestic|
|CarbonLaces||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|CUB (UK) Ltd||Non-domestic|
|EDF||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|ENGIE Power Limited||Non-domestic|
|E. On Next||Domestic|
|Equiwatt||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|Hugo Energy App (via SMS)||Domestic|
|Labrador||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|Loop.homes (via SMS)||Domestic|
|Octopus Energy||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|Power Rewards App||Domestic|
|Shell Energy Retail (via SMS)||Domestic|
|SMS||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|VpowerU||Domestic and Non-domestic|
|Zenobe Energy Limited||Domestic and Non-domestic|
Do you need a smart meter to take part in the Demand Flexibility Service?
Yes. In order for an energy company to accurately measure energy usage in the home for a DFS event, a smart meter capable of sending half-hourly readings to your energy supplier is required.
Consumers without a smart meter can start the application process here.
How often will the DFS events take place?
The National Grid has said it is planning up to 12 events through the winter of 2022-2023. If you opt-in with your energy company they’ll alert you in advance when an event is taking place.
If you’ve signed up for the Demand Flexibility Service do you have to take part?
No, taking part in a DFS event is entirely optional. Consumers can opt-in with their energy company, but if they don’t take any action, nothing will change.
Information for people needing help with energy bills.
As the costs of energy have risen recently, more people are struggling to pay their energy bills, and an increasing number of us are worried about energy bills. We’ve put together some advice on the what to do if you’re worried about rising energy bills.