Back to overview

SSEN to partner on the UK's largest ever domestic flexibility study

28 Jun 2021

SSE’s Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) business has joined the largest domestic flexibility study to ever be held in the UK.

Crowdflex has over 25,000 households taking part and will examine how households could use low carbon technologies, like electric vehicles (EV) and heat pumps, in a cost-effective transition to net zero.  It brings together SSEN, National Grid ESO, Octopus Energy and Ohme.

Participating households on Octopus Energy’s smart tariffs will be sent price alerts highlighting opportunities to shift their demand to take advantage of lower energy costs. How they respond to the changing price signals is being examined to develop an understanding of how flexibility can be used to manage the energy system in a smart and low-carbon way.

The 25,000 homes taking part represent the full breadth of household types and market segments in the UK. This will help gather data which reflect the opportunities created in the net zero transition for homes with high to low energy efficiency ratings, in rural and coastal locations, and across Scotland and England's cities.

CrowdFlex will help understand local and national energy system balancing and opportunities for households to play an active role in the shift to net zero. The study will highlight ways in which domestic demand side response can reduce energy bills, carbon footprints, and create new revenue streams for households.

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks at SSEN said:
“CrowdFlex is an exciting project which will support the unlocking of domestic flexibility. As we move to a smarter energy system utilising flexibility can help delay and avoid network reinforcement, and creates opportunities for households and businesses to play an active role in the energy system that serves them. This will be key in delivering a cost-effective, secure and inclusive transition to net zero.

“We are excited to be working in this cross-industry project to better understand how households react to changing energy prices and how domestic flexibility can be best used for local and national grid balancing. This project will play a key role in building our knowledge base and highlighting the exciting opportunities that the transition to net zero will create.”

Crowdflex is being funded jointly by National Grid ESO’s and SSEN’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) forecast that as the UK transitions to net zero demand on electricity networks could treble by 2050.  New ways of balancing the grid will be critical for a cost-effective transition to net zero and the increased flexibility of existing assets can help spread out the peaks and troughs of energy demand, and delay, and in certain circumstances avoid, traditional network reinforcement.