Demand side response

Demand side response is the scheme where customers are incentivized financially to lower or shift their electricity use at peak times. This will help manage load and voltage profiles on the electricity network.

Find out more below about which projects are exploring demand side response.
We are trialling new contracts with industrial and commercial customers who support the network, when called upon to do so, in return for payments. Business customers participating in the programme agree to reduce their demand by a defined number of megawatts of electricity between times of estimated higher demand on the electricity network. Participants fulfil their contract by either reducing demand, or using local generation for short times. A number of business customers have signed contracts with our ‘aggregator’ partners, who form the contracts with the business customers to support the network at agreed times. The contracts are already an established way of balancing the national transmission system, but this is the first time we have explored the potential of such contracts to balance demand on the distribution network.

Who’s involved?

Our Low Carbon London aggregator partners Flexitricity, EDF Energy and EnerNOC have been working with us to sign up London-based industrial and commercial participants for the trial.

Find out what else the Low Carbon London Project is exploring >>

This provides an alternative source of flexibility for electricity network operators to residential or commercial demand side response. The new storage system will be able to push electricity onto the electricity network locally in times where the electricity demand exceeds the available electricity. Or it will be able to absorb excess from the electricity network during times of high generation and low demand, such as sunny days or windy days.


Smarter Network Storage will take part in the National Grid ancillary services market in order to support system stability through providing Frequency Response and Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR). This will help to optimise the use of the storage device and assess the economic case for storage by providing this kind of system response, compared to demand-side response.

Find out more about Smarter Network Storage project >>


Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are forecasting increasing and more uncertain demands on their networks as the result of the electrification of heat and transport and the increased reliance on micro-generation and distributed generation (DG).


Domestic customers can play an important role to manage this substantial challenge in their participation with the network service, Demand Side Response (DSR) through Time-of-Use tariffs. Their interaction will have the effect of shifting their energy usage away from peak demand periods. The more customers that participate in providing DSR, the more it will help.


We are trialling DSR with vulnerable customers. This is the first time we have explored the potential for this service with this domestic customer to balance demand on the distribution network.


Find out more about the Vulnerable Customers and Energy Efficiency project >>