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Social Energy to support development of smart grid in London and beyond

Homeowners will have the opportunity to take part in the initiative which is intended to cope with increased demand brought about by electric vehicles, electric heating and increasing population.

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A battery installed in homes that will be used to send extra power to the electricity network
A battery installed in homes that will be used to send extra power to the electricity network

Social Energy has announced a project to support UK Power Networks’ development of a smart grid in London, the South East, and East of England.

 

The green energy supplier is working with UK Power Networks, an electricity distribution network operator for those regions, to help deliver a future-focused smart grid that is more reliable and prepared for higher energy demand.

 

Electric vehicles

 

Homeowners will have the opportunity to take part in the initiative which is intended to cope with increased demand brought about by electric vehicles, electric heating and increasing population.

 

Energy customers will have a battery installed in their homes that will be used by Social Energy to send extra power to the electricity network when it needs it most, as part of UK Power Networks’ flexibility services programme.

 

The project, which is available to around 100 homes initially, is part of UK Power Networks’ flexibility services that aims to deliver a smarter grid to a ‘significant’ part of the UK over the coming years – developing a smart electricity network that is more reliable and connects communities across London, the South East and East of England.

“Homeowners here have an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting project to move towards a smart grid – going green, saving money and supporting the future of energy”

In this emerging market, network operators are buying ‘flexibility’ from organisations like Social Energy, which works with customers to balance supply with demand. It turns supply up or demand down depending on what is happening on the network at a given time. This allows UK Power Networks to manage the network, build a more resilient grid and save money for its customers, according to Social Energy.

 

“We’re delighted to be working with UK Power Networks to be part of transforming energy for people in the area,” said Steve Day, chief technology officer at Social Energy.

 

“Homeowners here have an incredible opportunity to be part of this exciting project to move towards a smart grid – going green, saving money and supporting the future of energy.”

 

Stored energy

 

UK Power Networks is procuring real-time flexibility services from Social Energy. The service is delivered during specific time periods. During these periods, customer batteries will be available to discharge their stored energy if instructed to do so.

 

This electricity will first be used to power the homeowners’ electrical appliances, but any extra electricity will be exported from the house to the grid. When multiplied across many participating households, this has the effect of reducing demand on the local electricity network at peak times, reports Social Energy.

 

Social Energy customers in specific areas of South London, Hertfordshire and Kent will receive an annual payment of £125 for the next four years for their role in supporting UK Power Networks and helping to modernise the grid and maintain reliable power supplies in the local area.

 

Social Energy describes itself as a “new generation” of energy supplier that uses smart technology to reduce its customers’ electricity bills. Homeowners across the UK can get their solar and battery system from a local approved installer and connect it to the Social Energy tariff to reduce their electricity bills by up to 70 per cent, it claims, saving a typical household £516 per year.

 

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