ADE explores unlocking domestic energy flexibility

Domestic flexibility is on the verge of widespread rollout, if policy, regulatory and industry changes are supportive, according to the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).

On 29 April, it published Let’s talk about Flex: Unlocking domestic energy flexibility, in said that with industrial DSR already playing a key part in facilitating the transition to a low-carbon energy system, minor regulatory changes would allow for households to do the same. It highlighted the “huge untapped potential” to engage domestic customers with the energy system and combine DSR solutions with energy efficiency measures to help achieve smarter, more efficient, lower carbon homes.

The report warned that achieving such a vision will require a number of barriers, both commercial and technical, to be overcome.

It outlined a range of these barriers, alongside potential solutions, including a call for Ofgem to review the decision to make market-wide half-hourly settlement opt-out, rather than mandatory by 2023, based on the necessity of achieving a sufficient volume of domestic consumers agreeing to be settled on a half-hourly basis. Other barriers included cybersecurity, an essential part of any domestic DSR offering, but for which common protocols have not yet been established and the fact that flexibility providers cannot currently access the wholesale market without becoming or partnering with a supplier.

The report added that alongside removing direct barriers to DSR, policy stakeholders must also work to promote uptake of technologies such as electric vehicles, combined solar and storage and heat pumps. It made a series of recommendations, such as HMT, BEIS and HMRC reconsidering raising VAT on some solar and storage installations to 20% and for BEIS and HMRC to consider innovative ways of financing installation of smart technologies at scale.

ADE