New conduct code to build trust in demand-side response

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The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has launched a new compliance initiative that will make it easier for businesses to participate in demand-side response schemes. Flex Assure, the compliance scheme (and Code of Conduct), will help businesses to compare the different services offered by aggregators – the companies that enable businesses to access power flexibility markets. Flex Assure will ensure greater transparency, and give businesses confidence in the services being offered to them and build trust in this rapidly developing market.

The new voluntary membership scheme, which has been welcomed by government, is open to all DSR aggregators and licensed energy suppliers offering DSR services. It sets common standards across the industry, making it easier for industrial and commercial customers to access the revenue these new energy services can provide.

A sixth of the UK’s peak electricity requirement – or 9.8GW – could be provided by businesses being flexible in their energy demand, which could save UK energy consumers £600m by 2020 and £2.3bn by 2035.

John Bryant, director of business development at the ADE, said: “Businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the energy system’s zero carbon transformation, securing new revenue while helping to deliver our low-carbon ambitions. Flex Assure, going live so soon after the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report, will be an important tool for setting industry-wide standards, supporting businesses as they increase their participation in the demand-side response market, and accommodating more renewable energy to meet our decarbonisation targets at least cost.

“The aggregators who are participating in Flex Assure are highlighting to their customers, and potential customers, that they are committed to meeting the high standards set by the scheme.”

Seven DSR aggregators have so far applied to joined Flex Assure: Centrica Business Solutions, Enel X, ENGIE, Flexitricity, GridBeyond, Kiwi Power and nPower Business Solutions. The scheme will be overseen by an independent committee, which will also adjudicate customer complaints, and provide public notifications if any company is in breach.

Flex Assure is supported by the Major Energy Users Council (MEUC) and Make UK (formerly the EEF). Seamus Nevin, chief economist at Make UK, said: “Make UK welcomes the Flex Assure quality assurance mark for demand-side response. Manufacturers are contacted by many different aggregators and are sometimes unable to assess the quality of what they are being offered. 

“The Flex Assure DSR code of conduct provides certainty and increases trust in the market.”

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