CrowdFlex: Energy giants launch study on domestic energy flexibility
Octopus Energy and electric vehicle (EV) charging experts Ohme have partnered with the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to analyse the attitudes and behaviour of more than 25,000 households in relation to EVs and smart home solutions.
The companies have united to create the CrowdFlex study, which will explore how more than 25,000 UK households use energy and how patterns might change as EV chargers and heat pumps are integrated into domestic energy usage.
The project aims to outline how using technologies at different times can enable households to access cheaper and cleaner power, while improving the flexibility of the grid. The project will be funded by the National Grid ESO and SSEN’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).
The National Grid ESO’s head of innovation strategy and digital transformation Carolina Tortora said: “Technologies like electric cars and heat pumps have a key role in helping Britain to reach net-zero. But there’s a lot for us to learn about how consumer behaviour can shape that journey.
“This project will give us some really exciting insight into how smart tariffs and technologies can influence the way people consume electricity and help us balance the grid. As greater volumes of less controllable renewable power joins the system, electricity consumers are only going to become more important in that balancing act.”
National Grid ESO and SSEN will use the results of the study to explore how domestic energy flexibility can assist with the wider net-zero ambition in the UK.
According to National Grid ESO’s Future Energy Scenarios, more than 11 million EVs will be on British roads by 2030. As for heat pumps, the Government is targeting the installation of 600,000 pumps annually by 2028. Groups including the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) have warned that better supporting policies will be needed to meet this target.
The UK’s heat pump manufacturers have, however, collectively placed orders with suppliers for more than 67,000 units this year – around double the number currently already in warehouses and on shelves.
Research from UK Power Networks suggests that more than 4.5 million EVs could be on UK roads by 2030, almost 250,000 households could feature solar technology and between 450,000 to more than one million domestic electric heat pumps could be installed.
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