DSR Customers

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Code of Conduct

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What is DSR?

Demand side response (DSR) is one way in which the network operator ensures power supply and demand on the network are matched, that the grid is not overloaded and that supplies are at the correct voltage and frequency across the network.

Energy users are paid to provide DSR services by turning down or turning off non-essential processes at times of peak demand helping the grid to balance supply and demand without the need for additional generation (e.g. power stations) to be used. Energy users can also be asked to use excess energy from the grid, for example on a windy day.

Typical processes which are turned down or off include lighting, air conditioning, electric heating, pumps, and other non-essential equipment. Participating in DSR is voluntary and is designed not to impact on day to day business operations or comfort.

Supermarkets, industrial manufacturers, universities, commercial and public buildings, and hospitals are just some examples of businesses which are providing DSR services.

DSR and the flexibility it provides is crucial in supporting the UK’s transition to lower-carbon generation and the market is growing. National Grid has set an aspiration to meet 30–50 per cent of balancing capability from demand response by 2020.

How do DSR participants benefit from being flexible?

DSR provides an ideal way for businesses to offset rising energy costs and potentially earn revenue. Additional benefits to those who use a DSR aggregator include improved asset reliability and efficiency.

What are aggregators and why should I use them?

Many businesses who can participate in DSR don’t have the time or the expertise to participate in the balancing market and this is where aggregators can help. Aggregators work with businesses to maximise the flexibility you can offer the to the grid and manage your participation.

One of the advantages of working with an aggregator is that they can ‘pool’ capacity from many organisations to enable even small businesses to participate in DSR. Aggregators also have the technical expertise to improve asset reliability and efficiency.

Why should I look for an aggregator that’s a Flex Assure member?

Choosing the right partner to work with on DSR will maximise the benefits you receive but with many aggregators in the market, new technologies, aggregation models and products, it can be challenging knowing who to work with and how to compare the offering of one provider over another.

 Flex Assure helps make that decision easier. It sets minimum standards around sales and marketing, proposals, contracts and complaints, giving you the confidence to make an informed decision about the aggregator you work with.

Does Flex Assure cover domestic DSR aggregators?

Flex Assure members currently aggregate energy demand for commercial, industrial and public sector energy users. The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) intends to monitor development of the domestic DSR market and will consider the creation of a Domestic DSR Code of Conduct and the extension of Flex Assure, if the Board of Directors and Scheme Committee consider it appropriate.

Is my aggregator a Flex Assure member?

Flex Assure members are permitted to use the Flex Assure mark to show their customers that they have made a commitment to abide by the requirements of the DSR Code of Conduct. A list of members and their current status under the Scheme is available here.