Steering Group Meeting – 10th June 2020

07 Aug 2020

Power Responsive’s 19th Steering Group meeting took place in June. Discussions focused on ‘The effects of COVID-19 on system operability and DSF Providers’ and the ‘ESO & WPD Regional Development Programme’.

The meeting summary has now been published and is available to download from the following link:

Power Responsive Summer Insight Series

27 May 2020

In place of the annual Power Responsive Summer Reception we will be running a two-week programme of podcasts sharing views and information from industry colleagues and experts.  This Summer Insights Series aims to provide demand side stakeholders with short but focused updates and insights on flexibility developments to support the transition to a more flexible energy grid.

The series will begin from 29th June, with content released on a daily basis over the following two weeks. We are keen to hear if stakeholders have specific questions relating to the content that our insights will cover, including:

  • Updates and future outlook for policy & the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan
  • Low demand & challenges to National Grid ESO summer operability
  • Accessing DER in a hurry – Optional Downward Flexibility Management (ODFM)
  • Covid-19 and the demand side – impacts and long-term effects
  • Dynamic Containment and the ESO’s new suite of frequency products
  • Regional Development Programmes – the future of local flexibility markets?
  • Community Energy Projects – how are they evolving?
  • The Open Networks Project & facilitating new DER?
  • RIIO-D2 – what opportunities could the new distribution price control have for flexibility?
  • Demand side and the Balancing Mechanism – navigating the Virtual Lead Party (VLP) route
  • Capacity Market  – 15-year agreements for DSR

Please contact us through if you have any specific questions relating to these topics that you would like answered.

British food company cooks up a net-zero milestone for National Grid ESO

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and ELEXON opened up the balancing mechanism (BM), the most important tool for balancing the energy system in real time, to a wider range of flexibility providers in December 2019.

A family-owned wholesale food business has partnered with Flexitricity to become the first company to trade with National Grid ESO using this new route to market.

Roisin Quinn, Head of National Control at National Grid ESO, said:

“This transformation is central to the way we balance the system today – particularly as we work to meet some of the challenges associated with balancing the system – and forms an important part of being able to operate carbon free by 2025.”

In an industry first, Flexitricity has aggregated two batteries owned by Philip Dennis Foodservice and dispatched them in response to a call for energy received from National Grid ESO using the newly-launched balancing mechanism wider access arrangements.

Philip Dennis Foodservice is a family-owned regional catering wholesaler based in Devon supplying customers with a range of frozen, ambient and chilled foods.

The company has a Tesla energy storage system at their site in Mullacott, and a BYD battery adjacent to another of their sites at Roundswell. Both batteries are connected to Flexitricity’s virtual power plant and are managed round the clock by Flexitricity’s 24/7 control room in Edinburgh.

Philip Dennis Foodservice became the first of a new wave of participants which will trade in the balancing mechanism after National Grid ESO removed barriers to entry to this market at the tail end of 2019.

The transaction marks an important milestone for the GB energy market and highlights National Grid ESO’s focus on boosting real-time flexibility in the system and improving equality of access. Balancing mechanism wider access presents a huge opportunity for a range of flexible energy users, including EV users, domestic heating and energy storage, district heating, renewables and community energy projects, and industrial and commercial flexibility such as refrigeration, HVAC and lighting.

Historically the balancing mechanism has been dominated by large energy suppliers, formerly known as the ‘Big Six’. Now, as the country moves towards its 2050 net zero carbon targets, National Grid ESO and ELEXON have made changes to encourage smaller, more agile energy assets to contribute.

This change will improve system flexibility, which will facilitate renewable energy deployment and bring better value to consumers. New entrants to the market – like Philip Dennis Foodservice – will be able to reduce their environmental impact whilst creating additional revenue streams without disrupting day-to-day operations.

Flexitricity monitors the balancing mechanism and remotely alters the charge and discharge profile of Philip Dennis Foodservice’s batteries on site, in response to National Grid ESO’s requirements to balance supply and demand in real time.

The balancing mechanism is one of the main tools National Grid ESO uses to balance supply and demand on the electricity system in real-time. Through the BM, providers can offer to increase or decrease their generation or demand to help balance the system.

Roisin Quinn, Head of National Control at National Grid ESO, said:

“We’re excited to see the first example of wider access to our balancing mechanism as a virtual lead party in action with Philip Dennis Foodservice and Flexitricity. Wider access opens up opportunities for new providers and technologies to become part of the electricity market, making it smarter and more flexible as we shift away from traditional large thermal power generation to cleaner, decentralised power.


Andy Lowe, Director at Flexitricity, said:

“We are delighted to be the first to complete a trade in the balancing mechanism utilising this new route to market and are fully committed to helping more businesses like Philip Dennis Foodservice to access this revenue source.

“We have been working with businesses for over 11 years to maximise the value of their energy assets and now we can provide this service to thousands more businesses.

“Our focus has always been to build a decentralised, greener and fairer energy system where all energy users benefit – not just the big suppliers. It’s hugely rewarding to see that that’s now becoming a reality. Philip Dennis Foodservice – a small, family-owned business – is traded as part of our virtual power plant in the same, lucrative market the ‘Big Six’ are trading in. It’s a perfect example of the progress we’ve made as an industry over the last few years.

“Now as at any other time, our energy system needs customer-side flexibility to be both secure and green which is why it was important to us to be able to reach this milestone.”


Peter Dennis, Director at Philip Dennis Foodservice, said:

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we’re delighted that working with Flexitricity is enabling us to ‘green up the grid’. We’re extremely proud that our batteries were the first ever assets traded in the balancing mechanism through this new route to market.

“Energy used to be purely a cost for us and something that we didn’t have much control over. Now, by slightly altering our generation and consumption profile, in response to National Grid ESO’s requirement, we’re able to earn additional revenue that can be invested back into the business and gives us a competitive advantage.”



Power Responsive Annual Report 2019

We are pleased to let you know that the latest Power Responsive Annual Report has now been published.  The report highlights flexibility developments and market progress throughout 2019 as well as signalling future activity across the flexibility landscape for 2020/21.

The report itself covers:

  • An overview of Power Responsive and the programme’s future strategy for supporting the development and participation of demand side markets.
  • Highlights of recent policy, regulatory and industry-led initiatives supporting or impacting DSF.
  • Demand side metrics across National Grid ESO Ancillary Services, the Capacity Market and Triad activity in 2019 assessing how these markets have developed over a three-year period.
  • Future outlook for demand side markets and flexibility opportunities.

We’d like to thank Sustainability First for their assistance in preparing the report and for the Power Responsive programme in general.

We’re very much interested to hear your thoughts regarding the report, including how useful it is to you and your organisation, and where you think any future improvements could be made.  Please provide us with your feedback at

Power Responsive Annual Report 2019: Vidcast

07 Apr 2020

We’re looking forward to publishing the full Power Responsive Annual Report very shortly, that aims to support flexibility providers and investors with insight into the demand side landscape.  As a way of introducing the report ahead of the publication, we’re pleased to have recorded a vidcast to highlight the key messages that the report uncovers.

The vidcast highlights recent policy, regulatory and industry-led initiatives supporting or impacting demand side flexibility, as well as focusing on demand side metrics across National Grid ESO Ancillary Services in 2019, assessing how these markets have developed over a three-year period.  We hope you find it interesting and useful to yourself and your organisation.

Please download the vidcast from the link below.

We will share the full report on the Power Responsive website and we will notify our stakeholder list as soon as the report is published.  If you’d like to be notified when the full report is published, please register to our stakeholder list using the contact form on the footer below.

Steering Group Meeting – 5th March 2020

27 Mar 2020

Power Responsive’s 18th Steering Group meeting took place in March. Discussions focused on ‘achieving zero-carbon operation of the GB Electricity System’ and ‘what significant challenges need addressing by the ESO and industry beyond 2025’.

The meeting summary has now been published and is available to download from the following link:

Steering Group Meeting – 2nd December 2019

04 Mar 2020

Power Responsive’s 17th Steering Group meeting took place in December. Discussions focused on ‘the role of DSF in ensuring a resilient system’ and ‘how we achieve whole electricity system policy goals’. We also considered what the challenges and barriers are to increase the role of DSF, and its potential for further contribution.

The meeting summary has now been published and is available to download from the following link:


Power Responsive Flexibility Forum

31 Dec 2019

Registrations to the January 2020 Power Responsive Flexibility Forum are now open. Taking place on 15th January at ETC Venues, 200 Aldersgate, St. Pauls, London – the forum will focus on market developments, DNO opportunities, and policy and regulatory updates.


Steering Group Meeting – 4th September 2019

18 Nov 2019

Power Responsive’s 16th Steering Group meeting took place in September. Discussions focused on ‘data transparency & market-facing information’ and considered how open and transparent data can be made accessible to the energy industry, and in particular for demand side flexibility participants.

Steering group members discussed potential barriers, governance, technology, legal, and ownership constraints.

The meeting summary has now been published and is available to download from the following link: