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Surge in households benefitting from flexibility

The number of our customers being rewarded for flexible use of energy increased by nearly a quarter last winter, new data reveals.

Participation in our Low Voltage (LV) Sustain initiative – which is designed to make flexibility more accessible by establishing a fixed requirement flexibility contract that’s easy to understand – rose by 22 per cent.

LV Sustain enables domestic customers with low carbon technologies, such as EV chargers, heat pumps and battery storage, to get paid for changing when they use electricity in response to reward signals from their supplier or appointed aggregator.

The initiative is helping us discern the optimum way flexibility can be used in a variety of settings to ready our network for the net zero transition. It helps us reduce demand at peak times and means less need for significant infrastructure investments, keeping energy bills lower.

Across our Midlands, South West and South Wales licence areas, there are 176,000 National Grid customers with access to flexibility services at 1,426 LV locations.

Details of LV Sustain’s take-up are revealed in data from the latest round of our flexibility procurement for delivery over the 2024-25 winter.

This shows we accepted 2.5MW of capacity from flexibility service providers (FSPs) who are registered through our Market Gateway platform.

We also sought flexibility for High Voltage Long-Term needs across 65 locations, with awards made in 57. We procured 15.68MW of capacity. Technologies such as heat pumps, batteries, EV chargers and solar are among those participating.

As a result of two rounds of procurement in March, there are nearly 12,000 assets participating and a total of 74,000 now registered on Market Gateway.

Helen Sawdon, National Grid’s Flexibility Commercial Manager, said: “Overall, this round of procurement has shown the market’s appetite for flexibility services remains healthy.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see more households getting involved with LV Sustain, underlining that they are finding it a simple and beneficial system to navigate.”

Market Gateway is a digital flexibility procurement tool that was created to speed-up marketplace interactions and make flexibility easier to access for more domestic customers and businesses.

Last month National Grid’s Distribution System Operator announced a partnership with Electron to integrate its flexibility market platform ElectronConnect with Market Gateway. This will lower barriers to entry and boost market participation.

Another partnership announced in January with flexibility market platform Piclo enables flexibility service providers on its platform to seamlessly access and participate in our flexibility market offerings.