Energy study to explore how smart tariffs and technologies influence EV charging
A mass market study exploring whether changes in energy price and demand affect consumer energy use and EV charging is to start this month.
The CrowdFlex project is being run by National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) along with Octopus Energy, Ohme and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and is said to be the UK’s largest-ever home energy flexibility study.
The analysis will involve over 25,000 households and will analyse customer energy use patterns to demonstrate how they might change their behaviour and charge electric vehicles, heat pumps and home batteries at different times to access cheaper, greener power.
The project will also explore the effects of this on a flexible smart grid powered increasingly by renewables.
According to National Grid ESO’s Future Energy Scenarios, there will be 11 million EVs on British roads by 2030, and there is a government target to install 600,000 pumps a year by 2028.
Effective use of the flexibility of both electric vehicles and heat pumps will be key to the future power grid, shifting electricity demand into off-peak hours.
The analysis will look at how usage patterns change in response to price signals from Octopus Energy’s smart tariffs and direct instructions from Ohme’s smart electric vehicle chargers and mobile app.
National Grid ESO and SSEN will use the results to better understand how customers respond to these opportunities and the potential of domestic flexibility in national and local grid balancing.
Carolina Tortora, head of innovation strategy and digital transformation at National Grid ESO, said: “Technologies like electric cars and heat pumps have a key role in helping Britain to reach net zero. But there’s a lot for us to learn about how consumer behaviour can shape that journey.
“This project will give us some really exciting insight into how smart tariffs and technologies can influence the way people consume electricity and help us balance the grid. As greater volumes of less controllable renewable power joins the system, electricity consumers are only going to become more important in that balancing act.”
The project will be funded by National Grid ESO and SSEN’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), which provides an annual allowance to fund innovation projects that create value for National Grid ESO’s customers, reduce costs for electricity consumers and accelerate progress towards net zero.