Consumer Insight: Exploring routes-to-market for DSR technology

Introduction

Low carbon electricity sources like wind and solar vary with how windy or sunny the weather is. That can make it hard to match the supply available to consumers’ demand. Smart technologies can help by reducing demand when supplies are low or storing it when supplies are high so it can be used later on.

The government has committed up to £9.78 million to smart energy innovation to support the development of these sorts of innovation. The Flexibly-Responsive Energy Delivery (FRED) project, led by Evergreen Smart Power, is one of a number of projects to win a portion of this funding.

Energy Systems Catapult is working with Evergreen Smart Power, myenergi, Tonik Energy and Swansea University to understand the potential of this technology.

The Innovation

Evergreen Smart Power’s software platform can increase or reduce electricity demand from energy devices in real time to create a Virtual Power Plant. It can also be used to reward consumers who allow their devices to be adjusted to help manage the electricity grid.

The Project

The FRED project is trialing Evergreen’s Virtual Power Plant with 250 consumers to adjust when their electric vehicles are charged and their water is heated, based on real-time pricing and grid information.

Our Approach

Energy Systems Catapult is supporting the FRED project by:

  • Simplifying the offer by checking consumers can understand DSR during focus groups;
  • Testing the appeal of various propositions using the ESC’s consumer panel, Home Truths;
  • Improving the design using blogs, calls and surveys to monitor trialists’ experiences;
  • Estimating market size using a national survey to estimate mass market appeal.