DSR Offering to Good to Miss

Businesses strongly interested in offering demand-side services – DSR.

A survey by the Energyst has found that of the businesses that are not currently involved in demand-side response (DSR), the majority (83%) are interested in participating it as long it does not affect their operations.

The survey, published on 13 September, collected responses from 75 organisations, some of which used DSR and others which did not. DSR is a method that the National Grid uses to balance the electricity market. It involves electricity users reducing or increasing their demand when the National Grid needs them to. Businesses and organisations can sign up to it and earn revenue for taking part.

Barriers to DSR entry

The survey found that only 29% of the businesses surveyed currently participate in Demand Side Response and that there were several reasons behind why businesses were not. Four in 10 (40%) said they didn’t understanding enough about the market to consider DSR and another 40% were concerned about the disruption of business performance. Moreover, the graph (right) shows that 42% of respondents thought that the return on investment did not look attractive enough.

Government support for DSR

The government is working to lower these barriers to entry. On 13 September, a new project to allow smaller businesses to benefit from Demand Side Response was awarded £500,000 of government funding. The project, called Quickturn, is being developed by Flexitricity and aims to reduce the costs associated with DSR by improving the speed and reliability of communications, allowing businesses to take greater advantage of revenues. The developer has partnered with the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Digital Communications, which will contribute its expertise in emerging technology.

Flexitricity Founder Dr Alastair Martin said: “The ongoing drive towards a more decentralised, renewables-based energy system means that small businesses […] will have a vital role to play in the long-term management of our energy system. We’re proud to be able to deliver the tools that enable businesses to take control of their energy usage and earn much needed additional revenue.”

The greater the number of businesses participating in DSR, the more secure the system will be. However, it is clear that there are still steps to be taken to encourage more businesses to participate.