We often get asked about the best methods to increase energy efficiency and how can you reduce overall energy spend. The honest answer is there’s no one size fits all method. Each solution can be bespoke to your needs and requirements and those needs will alter the most efficient solution for your business. Below we cover the options available and explain some of the main benefits.
- Demand Side Response
- What is Demand Side Response?
- How does DSR work?
- How does DSR help me? ***
- DSR Costs? How is DSR Funded?
- How do I secure the best DSR contract?
- Battery Storage
- Solar Panels
- Diesel Generation
- Energy Management
- Electric Vehicle Charging Points
One of the most topical solutions within the energy market right now is Demand Side Response (DSR)
What is Demand Side Response? (Known as DSR).
Demand Side Response (DSR) relates to the use of electricity and how it can be controlled from a consumers perspective, particularly at times of high demand on the UK power network.
At any given time, the UK Power Network operates within a designated level of ‘available supply’ (which is the minimum & maximum level of energy available to be used and taken from the grid). During ‘peak’ time periods, often in the winter season and ranging between the hours of16:30-19:30, when businesses are still fully operational and homes are starting to power up, the demand on the network can become stretching. This may lead to ‘back up generators’ being called to action to support the increased demand. An example of this would be to call online an ‘offline’ power station to generate additional supply to support the network.
The cost implications for ‘generating’ more electricity by utilising additional resources can be expensive and also environmentally damaging, as most of our reactive power comes from higher polluting sources such as older and less efficient fossil fuel generators.
As a result of this, there’s a reluctance for the network to rely on it’s reactive power sources and instead, utilise Demand Side Response alternatives which involve some of the larger using commercial consumers coming off the grid and using their own sources of stored energy (Battery Storage/Solar/Diesel Generation).
If the availability is there for DSR to be actioned, the benefits will be less expense for the network as they wont have to pay the other sources as much to come ‘online’. Potentially there’s also environmental benefits if the DSR source is less pollutive than a power station may be (this may depend on the volume and source as significant Diesel Generation is less economical than Battery Storage or Solar Power).
How does Demand Side Response (DSR) Work?
In order for DSR to work, there needs to be the availability for businesses and consumers to control their energy usage by switching away from the grid and onto back-up generation capacity.
By utilising more considered energy usage during times of peak demand on the power network, you can reduce the demand and in turn make savings on your energy costs and potentially reduce your carbon footprint.
For example, if you usually use 1Mwh of Energy during the weekday hours of 17:00-18:00, you will be contributing towards the demand on the network at one of it’s busiest times. On the occasions where the demand during this hour reaches its highest, the network is required to consider achieving additional power to ensure national supply stays within its agreed availability/capacity levels.
Providing you have the capability to utilise your own stored energy, DSR works by you ‘coming off the grid’ and switching to your back-up generation. As an example, you would take your 1Mwh demand off the grid, and source the required energy by connecting to an on-site diesel generator. This would alleviate 1Mwh of demand from the network, but would still give you the availability to use the 1Mwh required for operational purposes (providing the generator had enough Diesel 😊)
How is Demand Side Response (DSR) Funded?
There are financial incentives for the use of DSR as the network will look to pass on the expense they no longer need to pay to other reactive power sources (eg bringing a power station online for a few hours).
Providing your energy contract offers you the flexibility to manage your usage and control the charges associated against the time periods of usage (this often requires a ‘flexible’ or ‘pass through’ energy contract), then you can utilise DSR as a way to reduce energy spend.
Within the market, there’s various energy supplies and government led schemes which can offer a route to funding by using DSR, these often come by way of ‘partnership’ contracts where the partner will look to take a percentage share of any funds they can achieve by notifying you of the times when DSR activity is likely to be most lucrative.
How Do I Secure the Best Demand Side Response Contract?
With many routes to DSR agreements within the UK, finding the most beneficial one can be a time consuming and often difficult to analyse prospect. Each individual supplier and ‘independent’ consultant is likely to have their own DSR ‘product’ and will naturally recommend their offer and contract as being the best one for you to agree with.
At Commercial Energy Advisors, we have whole of the market awareness of every DSR product and partner within the industry, and free from the bias of being a provider ourselves, we’ve created relationships with the providers we feel offer the best solutions and the best return on investment for DSR activity. As a result we offer a holistic view of the market and bespoke our recommended partners based on the most efficient solution for your energy usage.
To understand more about who we work with, what we can offer and how DSR might be beneficial to help support you in reducing your total energy spend, please complete our ‘energy health check’ form with your contact details as requested and one of expert advisors will be in touch to discuss further.