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EQUINOX (Equitable Novel Flexibility Exchange)

EQUINOX (Equitable Novel Flexibility Exchange)

Project Partners: SP Energy Networks (SPEN), Octopus Energy, PassivUK, Welsh Government, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Sero and Guidehouse.

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Competition (NIC)
DurationMar 2022 - Dec 2025
Estimated expenditure£15.375M
  • April 2024

    During this month we have started to see the first set of results from EQUINOX trial 2. This includes customer feedback from the surveys, interviews and focu…

Project Description

EQUINOX is the first NIC project dedicated to addressing the challenges DNOs face with the electrification of heat. The project will develop novel commercial arrangements and supporting technologies that unlock flexibility from residential low carbon heating, while meeting the needs of all consumers, including the fuel poor and vulnerable.


The UK government recently announced a target to reach 600,000 heat pump installations per year by 2028.  Unless new solutions are developed to manage this new load, DNOs will witness a substantial increase in peak demand, triggering significant network reinforcement throughout the later years of RIIO ED2 and ED3. Currently, limited viable solutions exist for DNOs to unlock the flexibility from residential low carbon heat at scale in a reliable, cost-effective, and equitable way.


EQUINOX is developing three novel commercial methods that are designed to maximise participation in domestic DNO flexibility services.  The range of methods will demonstrate how varying risk/reward frameworks between DNOs, suppliers and customers can influence the amount, cost, & reliability of flexibility from portfolios for varying customer segments incl. fuel poor and vulnerable.  The three novel commercial methods are:

  • Method 1 - ‘Save in advance’

In this method, the energy supplier, and in turn, the end-customer, receive an upfront flexibility payment in return for offering a fixed, minimum obligation of flexibility.

  • Method 2 - ‘Save as you go’

In this method, the energy supplier, and in turn the end-customer, are not committed to a fixed, minimum obligation but instead have more control over the flexibility they offer based on (near) real-time signals delivered in an automated way.

  • Method 3 - ‘Save in advance & boost as you go’

The method will combine aspects of both upfront flexibility payments (M1) and dynamic price signals (M2).