The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) says it has launched a compliance scheme that will make it easier for industrial and commercial businesses to participate in the UK’s smart-energy system.
The scheme, Flex Assure, will help businesses to compare the different services offered by aggregators, the companies who enable businesses to access power flexibility markets.
Flex Assure will reportedly ensure greater transparency and give businesses confidence in the services being offered to them and build trust in a developing market.
The new voluntary membership scheme, which ADE said had been welcomed by the London government, is open to all DSR (demand-side response) aggregators and licensed energy suppliers offering DSR services. ADE said it set common standards across the industry, making it easier for industrial and commercial customers to access the revenue these new energy services can provide.
A sixth of the UK’s peak electricity requirement – or 9.8 gigawatts – could be provided by businesses being flexible in their energy demand, which could save UK energy consumers £600 million by 2020 and £2.3 billion by 2035, ADE claimed.
John Bryant, ADE business development chief, said: “Businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the energy system’s zero carbon transformation, securing new revenue while helping to deliver our low-carbon ambitions. Flex Assure, going live so soon after the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report, will be an important tool for setting industry-wide standards, supporting businesses as they increase their participation in the demand side response market, and accommodating more renewable energy to meet our decarbonisation targets at least cost.
“The aggregators who are participating in Flex Assure are highlighting to their customers, and potential customers, that they are committed to meeting the high standards set by the scheme.”
Seven DSR aggregators have so far applied to join Flex Assure: Centrica Business Solutions, Enel X, ENGIE, Flexitricity, GridBeyond, Kiwi Power and nPower Business Solutions.
The National Grid Electrical System Operator announced last month the ambition to operate the Great Britain electricity system as zero carbon by 2025.
ADE said DSR was a key element in achieving this goal.
The launch of the scheme follows nearly two years of development and consultation with industry leaders, business energy users, and regulators. The scheme will be overseen by an independent committee, which will also adjudicate customer complaints, and provide public notifications if any company is in breach. Initially, Flex Assure will apply to commercial, industrial and public sector energy users.
Flex Assure is supported by the Major Energy Users Council and Make UK (formerly the EEF).
Seamus Nevin, the chief economist at Make UK, said: “Make UK welcomes the Flex Assure quality assurance mark for Demand Side Response. Manufacturers are contacted by many different aggregators and are sometimes unable to assess the quality of what they are being offered. The Flex Assure DSR code of conduct provides certainty and increases trust in the market.”
UK coal use is in steep decline. Picture credit: Wikimedia