In the UK, more than half of the 14,000 customers taking part in the trial of smart grid solutions – the Customer-Led Network Revolution – are willing to adapt daily routines to use electricity outside of peak demand hours, according to findings published by Durham University.

Of the 9,000 customers willing to change behaviour to save money, time of use trial participants and customers with solar panels in particular demonstrated a greater understanding of how they consume electricity and an openness to be more flexible in their energy consumption, the research finds.

Dr. Gareth Powells, from Durham University, said: “The findings have revealed that trial participants are willing to adapt some of their usual behaviour, in terms of carrying out daily chores like laundry, hoovering and washing up, to shift their electricity use to outside of the peak demand period, particularly to make better use of ToU tariffs.

He added: “There’s clearly an increased sensitivity to the cost of energy, so this is a key incentive for trial participants to change their energy use.

The Customer-Led Network Revolution is being led by Northern Powergrid and is part funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund.

The project is the largest of its kind in the UK and is being completed in partnership with British Gas, Durham University, Newcastle University and EA Technology.

The findings will be shared with other network operators to help the electricity industry prepare for the challenges presented by a low carbon future.

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