Demand Flexibility Service Evaluation Participant Information webpage

This winter, National Grid ESO ran the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) to encourage people to reduce their electricity use at peak times when energy supplies are low.  The DFS was the first trial of this scale in the UK and it’s important to learn as much as we can from it.

National Grid ESO has asked the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to evaluate the Demand Flexibility Service to understand people’s experiences and analyse who could participate in flexing their energy use, and how they found it.

Why should I take part?

The DFS is a unique trial which will provide evidence on willingness and ability for households to flex their energy use.

Your views will feed into an evaluation that will improve understanding of how the energy system can decarbonise and how consumers can contribute to and benefit from these changes. These insights will be important for government and industry to understand how best to support consumers to engage with this growing market. We expect the results from this trial to be used by:

  • National Grid ESO to inform flexibility services offered in the future.
  • Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and Ofgem to inform policy-making and regulation for flexibility markets.
  • Citizens Advice to understand the support needed by domestic consumers to access and fully benefit from the emerging flexibility offers.

How do I participate?

Everyone who signed up for the DFS should receive a survey link from their provider.  It is only possible to participate through your provider’s link.

What will be involved?

You will be asked to answer an online survey that will take you about 25 minutes. The survey has four sections which are: your home (5 mins), your experience of the DFS (10 mins), your household (5 mins) and about you (5 mins).

We’ll use your answers to understand who was able to take part, what they did, different challenges or benefits experienced by different household, and any changes that might be needed in future to include more people and improve the benefits.

Will I be rewarded?

You can choose to enter a prize draw run by the survey company. There are eight prizes: 1 x £500, 3 x £100 and 4 x £50. The survey company will pick out winners at random.

What are the timescales?

The survey will open on 24 April and close on 8 May 2023 for all customers of EDF, Utilita and Loop.  For customers of all other providers, the survey will close on 17 May 2023.

What data will you collect and how will you use it?

The main data we will collect are your survey responses on your experiences and opinions of the DFS, and information about yourself, your home and your household. We will use your answers to understand the factors that affect households’ experiences of the demand flexibility scheme.  CSE will analyse this data and publish a report about household experiences of the DFS.

After we have published our report, we will fully anonymise the survey responses to create a dataset that can be archived securely by the UK Data Service. This data can then be used by government, industry and academics in the future to shape flexibility services, inform policymaking and regulation and to understand the support needed for consumers to fully benefit from emerging flexibility offers.  This evaluation is a key step in building a solid evidence base about consumer flexibility.

You will be asked in the survey if you agree to your data being anonymised and archived for future research.

We would like to link the feedback you provide in the survey to your smart meter data. This will allow us to understand the factors that affect the amount of flexibility households can provide.  In the survey we will ask you to provide your email address or phone number so we can provide you with details. We will only use your contact details to inform you about the process for the smart meter data.

CSE will use your data for the evaluation analysis, and to keep you informed about the research.  We will not share your data with any other party.

CSE is working with the survey company Take Part In Research who will process the survey data and administer the prize draw. Full terms and conditions are available from Take Part In Research / here.

Will my DFS provider have my feedback?

You can choose to share your survey responses with your DFS provider. You will be asked at the start of the survey and if you select ‘yes, share my responses with my provider’, the survey provider will securely transfer a copy of your survey answers to your provider.

Will you have access to my smart meter?

CSE will not have access to your smart meter or smart meter data, but with your permission, we will contact you about the process for linking to your smart meter data.

How will you keep my information safe?

All personal information shared by you for this research will be kept strictly confidential. Your contact details and personal data will be processed in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 on the lawful basis of legitimate interest for the purposes of contacting you as part of this research. CSE’s full privacy policy is on our website at: CSE’s ICO registration is Z7115671.

Anonymised survey responses will be stored electronically by CSE for up to a year from the final date of project closure (30 July 2024 at the latest) on a secure server with password protection, before being transferred for secure archiving by the UK Data Service.

What happens if I no longer want to participate?

Your participation is completely voluntary and confidential. You are free to withdraw at any time and do not need to give a reason. You can also withdraw your authorisation for CSE to use any information you have shared. To do this please email [email protected] by 31 May 2023.  Once we anonymise your data for analysis, we may not be able to delete it.

Contact for further information

If you would like get in touch with CSE about the research, please email [email protected].

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