Insights / The last year of the Triads: 2022-23

The last year of the Triads: 2022-23

This is the last year for the Triads, with their replacement due to be formally confirmed by the Targeted Charging Review (TCR) in February 2023. But what’s going to happen with the Triads this winter? And how do they relate to the Demand Flexibility Service that’s currently being trialled?

The last year of the Triads: 2022-23

What are the Triads?

The Triads are the three half-hourly periods that see the highest demand for electricity on the grid. They must all fall between November and February, and be separated by at least ten clear days.

How are the Triads used?

The Triads calculate how much high-consuming electricity users should pay for maintaining and upgrading the electricity transmission network.

The electricity system operator, National Grid ESO, uses the Triads to calculate how much customers with half-hourly (HH) meters should pay for their Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges every year.

How are the TNUoS charges calculated?

The system operator takes the data for the HH settlement periods for each of the Triads up to the end of February. The TNUoS charge for each customer is then determined by multiplying the tariff paid for the electricity by the average amount of electricity in KWh the organisation consumes during those periods.

Will your organisation have to pay TNUoS charges?

If you don’t use any electricity at all during the three Triads, your organisation won’t have to pay any TNUoS charges in this financial year. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that any organisation will manage to sit out all three Triads without using power. But it’s still sometimes possible to predict when the Triads may occur, and reduce your electricity use during these periods. If you get this right, you can also reduce your organisation’s TNUoS charges accordingly.

Can anyone predict the Triads?

Many organisations try to predict them every year. If you’re interested in doing this, then we may be able to help you work out which HH periods are likely to be this winter’s Triads and minimise your TNUoS charges as a result.

When are the Triads being replaced?

This winter is the last when the Triads will be in place. After February 2023, they’ll be replaced by a daily standing charge based on a new banding system. This is designed to ensure that the costs of running and improving the electricity transmission network are spread more fairly.

How is peak demand for electricity being reduced this winter?

While the Triads may help lower demand for electricity at peak times, it’s not what they were originally designed to do. They originate from the time when electricity supply stability was managed by increasing generation to meet demand. In the low-carbon future, stability’s much more likely to come from managing demand to meet supply.

The new Demand Flexibility Service does just that. It incentivises customers to reduce their consumption of electricity in peak periods. Running as a trial this winter, it’ll allow ESO to gather valuable data about lowering demand for power in almost real time.

By the end of the trial, ESO should understand which organisations can help demand meet supply, as well as how much they will need to be paid to take action.

We’re still seeking industrial and commercial customers willing to take part in the trial, which could help shape the future of power supply in our country.

Use the button below to find out more about how you can benefit from the Demand Flexibility Service.

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