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Groundbreaking smart grid trial targets customers

More than 1,100 EDF Energy customers with smart meters are being given day- ahead price alerts to encourage them to shift electricity use to windy days.
From press releases - 13 February 2013 09:00 AM

More than 1,100 EDF Energy customers with smart meters are being given day- ahead price alerts to encourage them to shift electricity use to windy days.

In what is believed to be the first trial of its kind, the energy supplier is working alongside UK Power Networks and Imperial College London to see how customers respond to dynamic pricing.

It is hoped that the customers will time discretionary power use, for example running the washing machine, to coincide with periods of plentiful supply.

Niels Roberts, smart metering programme director at EDF Energy, said: "As the biggest producer of low carbon electricity in the UK, we are keen to see how the wind twinning approach could benefit both the supply network and consumers. Sustainability is at the core of our business and we are excited to be at the forefront of such research."

The pilot forms part of the Low Carbon London programme, funded by Ofgem's Low Carbon Networks Fund.

Liam O'Sullivan, Low Carbon London programme director at UK Power Networks, said: "This ground-breaking research will test whether day-ahead pricing can influence demand, manage the network more efficiently and encourage greater use of low carbon electricity.

"We think this is the first time such research has been undertaken in Britain and we will work closely with Imperial College London, EDF Energy and its customers to explore the potential impact of a flexible pricing regime. We want to see whether people can move their demand patterns away from peak times to support the most efficient, low carbon operation of the infrastructure which brings power to their door."

Imperial College will analyse the results of the trial and publish the findings next year. Professor Goran Strbac, from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, says: "Imperial played a major role in designing this novel dynamic tariff. It is crucial that we understand the role that residential consumers can play in the development of smarter electricity systems that will facilitate cost-effective evolution to a low carbon future."

Source: Utility Week