Demand Side Response: The route to domestic flexibility

Published: 4 August 2020

Energy Systems Catapult is working with Evergreen Smart Powermyenergi and Swansea University to understand the potential of Demand Side Response technology.

Our energy system must become smarter to realise the UK’s ambition of a Net Zero carbon economy. As consumer take-up of smart technology rises and intermittent renewable energy becomes more prevalent, the need for more flexibility in the energy system is crucial for a cost-effective low carbon transition.

Demand Side Response Technology

The government has committed up to £9.78 million to smart energy innovation to support the development of innovative domestic applications for Demand Side Response (DSR). The FRED trial (Flexibly-Responsive Energy Delivery), led by Evergreen Smart Power, is one of a number of projects to win a portion of this funding through its DSR competition.

The FRED trial is testing a software platform developed by Evergreen Smart Power which integrates and manages energy technologies in real-time, reacting to grid conditions to increase or reduce their electricity consumption. Energy Systems Catapult is gathering insights about consumers’ expectations, understanding and experiences of this flexible approach to energy consumption.

Demand Side Response Services

Insights into how consumers use and charge their Electric Vehicles (EVs) is needed to design a DSR service that people will buy into. This research fills that gap in two parts; firstly, understanding what consumers want when they charge their EVs and secondly, how a select group of FRED triallists have reacted to DSR events within the trial.

Amongst other things, the research to date has found:

  • Consumers are different – for any DSR service to be successful the service provider needs to understand consumers’ varying preferences around control and convenience and factor these into how DSR is delivered
  • Cost is just one of many things that influence when and how people charge their EVs – people also consider the level of charge they need (and are comfortable with), how ‘green’ the electricity is that they are charging with, battery health, other things they are using power for in their homes, to name a few.

More insights from the project will be released in the coming months.