Households and businesses could be paid to reduce electricity usage during peak times

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is holding an event in the Vale of White Horse, South Oxfordshire on Thursday 21 March, to explain how they can benefit by reducing their electricity usage during peak times.

SSEN is seeking to pay households and business for delivering reductions in electricity usage at peak times. To explain this process and show how payment can be accessed, SSEN is running two events for local organisations, community groups and anyone with an interest in or an ability to reduce electricity load.

Details of the event being held on Thursday 21 March are:

  • 10:00 – 11:30am at Cornerstone, 25 Station Road, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 8RJ 

These events will give an overview of SSEN’s process for accessing payment to reduce energy usage, next steps and how SSEN is encouraging social benefits such as carbon reductions and support for fuel poor alongside reducing peak electricity demand.

As electricity demand increases load within the UK grows through technologies such as electric vehicles and electric heating, alongside requirements for new connections in growth areas of the country, there will be increased strain on distribution networks. Given the localised nature of SSEN’s network this strain can occur in precise areas and bottlenecks within the system.  

Traditionally this constraint is addressed through network reinforcement. However, the alternative is to reduce the spread of electricity use, to alter or reduce electricity consumption. SSEN is exploring these options and using the money saved by avoiding reinforcement, on incentivising smart solutions such as: energy efficiency, batteries, behaviour change and commercial mechanisms.

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks at SSEN said: "In December 2018, SSEN joined the electricity industry in making a commitment to flexibility first, as we support the transition to a smarter electricity system. We are acting on this commitment and want to unlock opportunities for our customers to engage with the energy system that serves them in new and exciting ways.

"We are seeking to make this customer journey simple, and easy to understand. To assist in this process SSEN will also be providing seed funding and expert advice to qualifying proposals to help you translate your energy reduction plans into kW/kWh and resultantly pounds and pence in your organisations back pocket. So, the whole process should be as simple as turning off a light switch."

Every unit of energy saved from the network has a value in freeing up capacity. These districts have been highlighted as a potential area of future load-growth; SSEN will be providing a local and easy to understand ‘flexibility market’ allowing residents to bid for funding of an initiative to reduce electricity demand at peak times.

This funding is completely solution/technology agnostic and may be used in the following ways:

  • to get a new initiative off the ground 
  • to stack the business case for an existing proposal 
  • to increase/target the location of specific schemes to the areas of the network under constraint.

For further information on the south Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse event please see here.