SSEN to partner on the UK's largest ever domestic flexibility study

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has joined the National Grid-led project CrowdFlex.  The Project is the largest domestic flexibility study ever held in the UK, with over 25,000 participating households, and will examine how households could use low carbon technologies, like electric vehicles (EV) and heat pumps, in a cost-effective transition to net zero.  

CrowdFlex represents the largest ever domestic flexibility study undertaken in the UK, bringing together project partners SSEN, National Grid ESO, Octopus Energy and Ohme.

Participating households on Octopus Energy’s smart tariffs will be sent price signals highlighting opportunities to shift their demand to take advantage of lower energy costs. This domestic household reaction to changing price signals is being examined to develop an understanding of how flexibility can be used to manage the energy system in a smart and low-carbon way.

The 25,000 participating households represent the full breadth of household types and market segments in the UK. This will help gather data which reflect the opportunities created in the net zero transition for properties with high to low energy efficiency ratings, homes in rural and coastal locations, and across Scotland and England's cities.

CrowdFlex will inform innovative approaches to local and national energy system balancing and opportunities for households to play an active role in the shift to net zero. The study will highlight ways in which domestic demand side response can reduce energy bills, carbon footprints, and create new revenue streams for households.

Implementing innovative solutions will be critical in a cost-effective transition to net zero. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) forecast that as the UK transitions to net zero demand on electricity networks could treble by 2050. CrowdFlex will provide critical data to inform how the energy system can develop in a smart, low-carbon and flexible way to accommodate the UK’s decarbonisation ambitions. 

Flexibility provides an opportunity to more efficiently and effectively use existing assets to both spread out the peaks and troughs of energy demand, and can help delay, and in certain circumstances avoid, traditional network reinforcement.

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks at SSEN said:

“CrowdFlex is an exciting project which will support the unlocking of domestic flexibility. As we move to a smarter energy system utilising flexibility can help delay and avoid network reinforcement, and creates opportunities for households and businesses to play an active role in the energy system that serves them. This will be key in delivering a cost-effective, secure, and inclusive transition to net zero.

“We are excited to be working in this cross-industry project to better understand how households react to changing energy prices and how domestic flexibility can be best used for local and national grid balancing. This project will play a key role in building our knowledge base and highlighting the exciting opportunities that the transition to net zero will create.”

Crowdflex is being funded jointly by National Grid ESO’s and SSEN’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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