Consumers demonstrate changeable habits in North East ‘smart grid’ project

Consumers demonstrate changeable habits in North East smart grid project

Householders taking part in one of the UKs largest smart grid projects, here in the North East, have shown their willingness to adapt their consumption of electricity.

Over 9,000 onsumers taking part in the Customer-Led Network Revolution showed their willingness to adapt daily routines to use electricity outside of peak demand hours.

Findings so far from the study have been published by Durham University.

Dr. Gareth Powells, from Durham University, said: The way people use electricity has changed dramatically in the last decade. People are much more reliant on technologies such as laptops and smart phones and the electrification of vehicles and heating is becoming more popular, so our findings reveal some really fascinating insights into how people are using electricity and how much they are prepared to be flexible in this use.

Weve also found evidence that as time and space boundaries between home and work are becoming more blurred, with more people working from home or working flexible hours for example, their use of electricity and how they relate to the grid is also starting to change."

Many of the 9,000 people involved are using low carbon technologies such as heat pumps, electric vehicles and solar panels, or are taking part in time-of-use (ToU) trials.

The tariff-based ToU offers customers a financial incentive to use electricity outside of peak demand periods when households use the most electricity typically on weekdays between 4 and 8pm.

ToU trial participants and customers with solar panels in particular demonstrated a greater understanding of how they consume electricity and an openness to be more flexible in their energy consumption.

Dr. Powells, added: The findings have revealed that trial participants are willing to adapt some of their usual behaviour, in terms of carrying out daily chores like laundry, hoovering and washing up, to shift their electricity use to outside of the peak demand period, particularly to make better use of ToU tariffs.

"Theres clearly an increased sensitivity to the cost of energy, so this is a key incentive for trial participants to change their energy use.

Led by Northern Powergrid and part funded by Ofgems Low Carbon Networks Fund, the project is the largest of its kind in the UK and is being completed in partnership with British Gas, Durham University, Newcastle University and EA Technology.

The findings from the project will be shared with other network operators to help the electricity industry prepare for the challenges presented by a low carbon future.

Source: Bdaily Business News

Smart Grid Bulletin April 2018

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