Demand Flexibility Service explained

Demand Flexibility Service explained

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) is a new energy saving concept, which has been launched by the ESO to incentivise consumers and businesses to reduce their power consumption at times of peak demand. 

This new service will help the ESO avoid using its expensive and polluting fossil fuel generators and serve as an “insurance policy” if it needs to ease demand on the grid this winter.

Households have been warned of power cuts lasting up to three hours at a time if gas supplies run extremely low, and National Grid is hoping the new scheme can prevent that happening.

The ESO will run a maximum of 12 demonstration tests with each electricity supplier between November and March 2023. These demonstration tests will have a guaranteed minimum price of £3KWh, meaning that a typical household could save approximately £100 across the maximum 12 demonstration tests. 

How the Demand Flexibility Service scheme works

  • Energy suppliers and aggregator sign up to the scheme with National Grid ESO
  • The suppliers get in touch with customers that are eligible to taker part
  • Households in England, Scotland or Wales with a smart meter are eligible
  • Energy suppliers send an alert 24 hours before a test session is due to start
  • Demonstration tests will run for one hour, however live events could run for a longer period
  • Customers reduce energy usage during the test period
  • Customers receive a discount if they reduce energy usage during the tests
  • The trail runs until March 2023
  • There are no penalties for not participating once you have signed up

How you can take part in Demand Flexibility Service 

If you have a smart meter and your energy supplier offers the service, then you can sign up – see the full list of participating suppliers below. Not everyone will be able to take part but your energy supplier will probably contact you if you’re eligible and invited to be part of the test scheme. 

Which providers have signed up for the scheme? 

At the time of publishing the following domestic energy suppliers have signed up:

How you can reduce your power consumption during Demand Flexibility Service events? 

Households could reduce their power consumption during demonstration tests or live events by choosing to run power-hungry appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, electric showers and immersion heaters before or after the ‘event’. Another option would be to reduce energy usage (e.g. using a microwave instead of the oven) during the event window. 

Efficient lightbulbs and small appliances such as modern televisions consume little electricity and so it is unlikely to be worth adapting usage of these during an ‘event’. See our top 10 energy saving tips for ideas about saving energy and money this winter.