‘Sandbox’ experiment on metering could enable housing developments to use cheaper ‘micro grids’

A ‘Sandbox’ proposal to trial a new metering solution in. a live’ market environment is under consultation until 26 February.

Emergent Energy is a renewable energy supplier that specialises in microgrids (residential private wire networks) in the social housing sector. It  plans to trial new processes to aggregate consumption from consumer meters within a microgrid – typically a block of flats.

It aims to improve on existing methods, which can involve over-paying for energy or misallocation at the boundary of the microgrid, or require costly installation of additional meters.

Reg Platt, founder and chief executive at Emergent Energy, said: “Private wire networks installed within housing developments can improve the returns achieved from investments in solar PV and heat pump technologies, reducing the cost of delivering net zero while reducing bills for customers. This Sandbox application will expand the opportunity for private wire networks beyond new build housing into the retrofit market where the UK desperately needs cheaper low carbon solutions.”

Elexon chief executive Mark Bygraves said: “We are very pleased to be offering our BSC Sandbox service as a safe space for companies and innovators to trial new concepts and ideas. Emergent Energy’s proposal is an opportunity to demonstrate how another process could address this known issue and so maintain the high accuracy of Settlement, which is important for all Parties and consumers overall.

This is the first proposal to use the new Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) Sandbox. Bygraves added,  “Emergent Energy is one of a number of companies that have come forward with a proposal to use the Sandbox and we look forward to working with all of them to progress their plans.”

The consultation closes on 26 February.

The independent BSC Panel will then review the proposal and any industry feedback before making a recommendation to Ofgem. Ofgem makes the final decision on whether Sandbox trials can go ahead.

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Futher reading

Settlements company Elexon promises to be a ‘critical friend’ to innovators as it opens Sandbox to trial new proposals

Ofgem launches revised Sandbox, saying to innovators ‘talk to us any time’

Innovation ‘sandbox’ finds most ideas need more help, not regulation change

Ofgem invites innovators to experiment in ‘regulatory sandbox’

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