Insights / Demand Flexibility Service 2023/24

Demand Flexibility Service 2023/24 – continuing to deliver customer rewards

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), National Grid Electricity System Operator’s (NGESO’s) power demand reduction service, ran for a second time over the winter of 2023/24. The service rewards businesses with electric assets – like heating and cooling equipment and EV chargers – for turning down their consumption at peak demand times.

Again, we delivered the largest dividend to customers of any I&C-only provider involved. This year, combined revenue to our participating customers hit nearly £1.2m as we helped the Grid to ‘keep the lights on’ by balancing supply and demand.

Read more about how the DFS works.

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Nationwide results

Across 16 events (broken down as below), the UK’s businesses delivered over 3.6GWh of flexibility.

14 test events:

  • The first seven of these events were one-hour long and featured set, guaranteed rewards for participating
  • The remaining seven were price discovery/competitive tests – to understand the price at which participants are willing to reduce demand

Two live events – longer duration, based on competitive tender prices

Two and a half million meters were involved across the winter – with one million signed up less than 10 days after the service’s launch. Delivery peaked during the 17 January event at over 400MW.

Drax delivers

Our participating customers were spread across utilities, agricultural, automotive and professional services sectors. Our largest beneficiary of the DFS generated a total of over £600,000 in revenue across the winter, including an enormous £167,000 during one live event.

With compensation figures ranging from £400/MWh to £6,000/MWh, our customers’ combined revenue of £1.2m resulted from a total reduction of 357MWh.

Both total reduction and overall revenue figures were up against those we achieved for our customers last year. This was particularly impressive given that NGESO removed guaranteed flexibility reward prices for the second half of the test events.

Jake Miller, Electric Assets lead at Drax said: “We’re proud to be the largest I&C-only provider in the DFS for the second year running, delivering revenues to customers even in the face of changing parameters. Providing demand-side flexibility’s a key part of a enabling a net zero grid in the UK. We’re continuing to work alongside NGESO to give our customers the best opportunity to do this.”

Optimisation options

At Drax, we help customers to optimise their assets continually, through suggesting and managing recurring consumption changes that deliver monthly savings. These changes might include turning down cooling equipment without letting ambient temperature rise about safe levels – or ensuring EV charging takes place outside of peak hours, for example.

Over the last year, we’ve also developed our own demand flexibility service, called ElectriFlex, which rewards customers for reducing consumption at set times. Encompassing access to the DFS, it continues running around the calendar year. You can learn more by downloading our ElectriFlex brochure.

What’s next?

As the NGESO stated in its summary of the 2023/24 service, “flexibility is a critical part of the energy market as we move towards a zero-carbon power system”. So, it’s no surprise that plans for next winter’s service are already underway.

Research and initial design leads into design finalisation over the next couple of months, with go-live scheduled for November.

If you’re keen to generate revenue in next winter’s DFS – or you want to try demand flexibility before it arrives – get in touch to discuss how we can help you.

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