SSEN joins UK committee to develop demand response standards

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has joined demand-side management alliance Flex Assure to represent UK electricity network and system operators.

SSEN will represent network operators on Flex Assure’s Oversight Committee on behalf of the Energy Network Association’s Open Networks.

Flex Assure is a non-profit organisation that works with industry stakeholders to develop standards for energy flexibility and demand-side response services. By joining the alliance, SSEN seeks to support the development of safe, consistent, and sustainable standards.

SSEN will help Flex Assure to develop mechanisms that can help increase the participation of business customers in demand response programmes and reduce the risks to industry and customers involved in flexibility.

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 examine further opportunities within the flexible energy market.

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The standard will ensure optimal accreditation and audit processes for commercial and industrial flexible energy providers, according to a statement.

Increased participation of consumers in demand response services would mean the availability of more smart energy that can be used to provide baseload power. This, in turn, could help utilities to accelerate their retirement of fossil-fueled energy generation and grow renewable energy portfolios.

The news comes at a time the flexible energy market is expected to play a key role in helping the UK achieve its net-zero goals in a cost-effective manner which reduces consumer energy bills and puts less pressure on grid operators. The Climate Change Committee predicts that whilst energy demand could triple by 2050, energy flexibility could help the UK deliver the energy transition whilst reducing energy system costs by £10 billion ($13.6 billion) per year by 2050.

Alex Howison, Flexible Solutions Manager for SSEN said the development aims to ensure standards for flexible energy are “provided in a credible and transparent manner.

“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, added that to achieve a just energy transition there is a need for “bringing together all of Britain’s network companies and industry stakeholders to help transform the way our energy networks operate.

“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.”

SSEN joins other organisations including National Grid ESO, Ofgem and BEIS that are members of the committee.

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