Demand side response can help UK businesses save as much as 10% on their energy bills while supporting the transition to low carbon power.
That’s according to a new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and RenewableUK which explores how some companies are already varying the amount of electricity they use at certain times of day to match renewable power generation.
Smart grid technology enables businesses and households to change their electricity consumption patterns in response to a signal or incentive. By doing so, they can take advantage of price fluctuations in the energy market and receive payments for reducing how much electricity they use at times of peak demand or when the capacity of the grid is constrained for technical reasons.
They can also make the most of cheap renewable power by increasing energy consumption in periods of ample generation from variable sources such as wind and solar.
This benefits the UK power network as well as energy users, because it reduces the need for back-up power plants, lowers carbon emissions and grid costs, and supports the transition to a grid that is more reliant on renewable energy.
ADE director Dr Tim Rotheray said that the industrial, commercial and public sector account for over half of the UK’s power demand, and their participation in demand response will be key in growing the market and creating a more flexible power system.
“A more flexible power system creates a stable power grid, which can then accommodate more renewable energy to meet our decarbonisation targets at least cost,” he explained. “The industrial energy users providing flexibility also benefit with lower energy bills and increased competitiveness when operating in a decarbonising global economy.”