GB Electricity Demand Project- realising the resource

Project and Smart Demand Forum


We completed this ground-breaking and major three-year multi-partner project ‘GB Electricity demand – realising the resource’ in late 2014. With an over-arching customer and consumer focus, this project involved a systematic look at the policies, regulatory approaches and commercial issues for development of an active demand-side in the GB electricity markets.

The Sustainability First project on GB Electricity Demand began in April 2011. It was supported in its first year under a Northern Powergrid Low Carbon Network Fund project - and thereafter for a further two years to April 2014 via a multi-sponsor group.

View and download all thirteen project papers.

The project aimed to identify the potential resource which the electricity demand side could offer into the GB electricity markets through demand response and through demand reduction. The project aimed to:

  • Evaluate and understand the potential GB electricity demand-side resource across all economic sectors (including the role of distributed and micro-generation);
  • Develop a clearer understanding of the economic value of this resource to different market actors and to different customers out to 2025;  and
  • Evaluate the key customer, consumer, commercial, regulatory and policy issues and interactions.

The project developed a substantive knowledge-base, and provided visibility and thought-leadership for GB electricity demand-side issues. The project undertook work relevant to:

  • GB smart meter deployment
  • Low Carbon Network Fund and Network Innovation Competition projects – emerging lessons and insights from the LCNF projects were fed into the project
  • Proposals for the electricity demand-side (DSR and electricity demand reduction) in Electricity Market Reform.

The work programme was delivered through the Smart Demand Forum, through wider stakeholder events, and through thirteen published papers. The project was run by Sustainability First. The Sustainability First team was Judith Ward, Gill Owen, Rebekah Phillips, Sharon Darcy and Clare Dudeney.

Additional expertise and inputs were provided by Serena Hesmondhalgh of Brattle Group, who developed a quantitative all-sector demand model. Stephen Andrews supported the project on Distributed Generation and Micro-Generation. We collaborated with Frontier Economics on a paper on electricity demand-side innovation.

Key themes for the project included:

  • Customer Response and Consumer Issues – A key focus for the project was to understand successful and cost-efficient demand-side participation from a customer and consumer perspective (household, industry, commercial and public sectors). This included experience provided through the LCNF trials (e.g. tariffs, remote control of appliances, technologies such as micro-generation, electric vehicles etc.) and other similar initiatives in the UK and elsewhere. For households, this included any particular issues for the fuel poor and potential distributional impacts.
  • Commercial - Practical realisation of demand-side services - given different roles and requirements in the value chain. Issues included: the nature of commercial frameworks, the role of third parties(DNOs, ESCOs, aggregators), the kind of information-sharing likely to be necessary between parties etc. – drawing from practical experiences of the LCNF Trials and other developing experience in the UK and elsewhere.
  • Regulatory – near and longer term regulatory factors which impact upon development of an active electricity demand-side for Great Britain – including current agreements between market actors, statutory codes, incentives in price controls, settlement, and third-party requirements. This included experiences within the LCNF trials and other thinking on innovation incentives.
  • Public Policy Issues – likely economic value and potential contribution of the demand side to: cost-efficiency across the electricity sector; security of supply; carbon-emission reductions. Business models, approaches and incentives for integrating the demand side into the electricity market, including its interactions with Electricity Market Reform, smart meter roll-out and energy efficiency schemes.

The project also drew upon relevant information from demand side developments in other countries (notably the EU, US and Australia) to inform its work.

Our project sponsors included:
BEAMA; Consumer Futures; British Gas; EDF Energy; Elexon; E-Meter Siemens; E.ON UK; National Grid; Northern Powergrid; Ofgem; Scottish Power Energy Networks; UK Power Networks; Vodafone.
The work was coordinated through a Smart Demand Forum whose participants also included a number of key consumer bodies: Energy Intensive Users Group, Consumer Futures, Which?, and National Energy Action together with DECC, plus the sponsor group members.

GB Electricity Demand Project - Publications


 GB Electricity Demand Project - Infographic
 Published April 2015

Paper 13 - Realising the resource: GB Electricity Demand Project overview
    Published October 2014

Paper 12 - Household electricity demand-side participation in the GB electricity markets
    Published July 2014

Paper 11 - How could electricity demand-side innovation serve customers in the longer term?
    Frontier Economics & Sustainability First.
    Published April 2014

Paper 10 - The electricity demand-side and local energy:  how does the electricity system treat 'local' ?
        Annex 2 - EDRP Community Demand Reduction Competition
    Published January 2014

Paper 10 - Slides from SmartGrid GB Workshop - London
    Published March 2014

Paper 9 - GB Electricity Demand – 2012 and 2025. Impacts of demand reduction and demand shifting on wholesale prices and carbon emissions
    Results of Brattle modelling
    Published January 2014

Paper 8- Electricity demand and household consumer issues
    Published July 2013

Paper 7- Evolution of commercial arrangements for more active customer and consumer involvement in the demand side
    Annex 2 - EDF Energy EDRP static household ToU case study
    Annex 3- PV & demand-side case study
    Annex 4- Texas case study from Chris King. Emeter

Paper 6- What demand-side services does distributed generation bring to the electricity system?
    Published January 2013

Paper 5 - Electricity demand-side and wider energy policy developments
    Published November 2012

Paper 4 - What demand side services can provide value to the electricity sector
    Published June 2012

Paper 3 - What demand side services could customers offer - household demand
    Published April 2012

Paper 3 - What demand side services could customers offer - industry electricity demand
    Published September 2012

Paper 2 - GB electricity demand 2010 and 2025
    Published February 2012

DECC Electricity demand data sources - summary note
    Published March 2012

Paper 1 - Context and 2010 baseline data
    Published October 2011