SSEN joins Flex Assure oversight committee to support a sustainable and consistent approach to flexibility

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has joined the Oversight Committee of Flex Assure, on behalf of Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Open Networks project as the representative for UK electricity network and system operators. A not-for-profit company, Flex Assure is a code of conduct scheme which sets standards for flexibility service providers, working with business energy users to deliver flexibility and demand side response services. SSEN is joining the Committee to support the development of flexibility practices which are safe, consistent, and sustainable.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) forecasts that electricity demand could treble by 2050 due to the extensive electrification that getting to net zero requires. Flexibility will play a crucial role in this journey and realising the UK’s ambitions in a secure and cost-effective manner. The UK Government identified flexibility could reduce energy system costs by £10 billion per year by 2050.

In developing and deploying flexibility at all scales, it is important the principles and practices used throughout industry are consistent, transparent, sustainable and encourage customer and business participation.

Flex Assure is a not-for-profit company, sponsored by the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE), and has developed a code of conduct, accreditation, and audit process for industrial and commercial flex providers. This is to support members delivering a safe, sustainable, and credible flexibility industry.

SSEN is joining the Oversight Committee of Flex Assure representing UK electricity network and system operators, via the ENA’s world leading Open Networks project, to support the development of good practice in local flexibility markets. This will include supporting efforts to develop a consistent approach to increasing domestic participation and reduce the risks to industry and customers involved in flexibility.

Flexibility provides an opportunity to more efficiently and effectively use existing assets to spread out the peaks and troughs of energy demand, which can help delay and in certain circumstances avoid, traditional network reinforcement. Through this approach, flexibility can help secure a cost-effective and efficient transition to net zero.

Using the principles of SSEN’s Smart and Fair? project with the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Western Power Distribution, SSEN and Flex Assure will work together to examine further opportunities for creating a consistent, competitive, and sustainable approach to contracting flexibility.

Alex Howison, Flexible Solutions Manager for SSEN said:

“Flex Assure is a great initiative to promote consistent, safe, and sustainable practices in providing flexibility to ensure it is provided in a credible and transparent manner.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Oversight Committee of Flex Assure through the ENA’s world leading Open Networks project. As we progress to a smarter energy system, utilising flexibility can help delay and avoid network reinforcement, and create opportunities for households and businesses to play an active role in the energy system that serves them. Flex Assure is playing a key and important role in opening up these opportunities and building customer trust in flexibility.”

Farina Farrier, Head of Open Networks at Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said:

“We are delighted that SSEN is joining Flex Assure’s Oversight Committee on behalf of the Open Networks project. The project strongly believes in open collaboration and coordination by bringing together all of Britain’s network companies and industry stakeholders to help transform the way our energy networks operate – so we welcome the continued progress in collaborating more closely with this landmark scheme.

“Harnessing the power of residential flexibility through EVs, heat pumps and other domestic smart technologies will help to deliver Net Zero and also direct benefits to customers across the country. This includes cheaper energy bills, potential income from providing flexibility services and a more environmentally friendly energy source.”

Caroline Bragg, Head of Policy at the Association of Decentralised Energy said:

'Flexibility will be crucial to decarbonising the electricity system without breaking the bank. To achieve this, the flexibility sector is committed to good standards and industry conduct as set out under Flex Assure. It's great to see SSEN add it's vote of confidence to this effort.'

Caroline Sejer Damgaard, Flex Assure Scheme Administrator at the Association of Decentralised Energy said:

“We are very pleased to welcome SSEN to the Flex Assure Committee. As local flexibility markets grow, DNOs are becoming increasingly important actors in the energy flexibility space, and will add a valuable perspective to the ongoing developments of the Flex Assure Scheme, building trust in the sector as it develops and grows. SSEN join a well-established Committee with balanced representation across energy users, Scheme Members, National Grid ESO, Ofgem and BEIS.”