Are networks changing?

Alastair Martin of Flexitricity sees a change in distribution network operators (DNOs): “the Low Carbon Networks Fund stimulated something really quite remarkable in the change of thinking of DNOs, and they are now out there with a strong appetite to make use of demand side response to meet the spending commitments Ofgem has placed on them. … the old model of running a DNO where you just owned the wires on a cost-plus basis has gone.”
We are speaking at a meeting on UK Power Networks Low Carbon London project and he says “From this project, we have learned what demand response can do in this sector. The DNOs are pushing to go fully commercial with demand response projects. We have some early stage tendering activity happening already.  Their needs are very local though, so if you aren’t connected exactly where they need it forget it.”
Suppliers should also have a big opportunity, but Martin says they “have missed a trick over the last 5-10 years, in terms of harnessing their customers to help them make money in the energy markets. They have failed to do that and I think Ofgem knows they have failed. “One of the benefits I would like … to see coming out of the Electricity Balancing Significant Code Review is a change in that behaviour. Suppliers will have an incentive to get involved in demand response in their own customers’ portfolios.”


Subscribers: read the full interview in our subscriber area, including the future of STOR, DSBR and SBR – and Flexitricity’s strategy in the Capacity Market auction.