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Demand side response in the UK

Demand side response (DSR) and the flexibility it provides is crucial in supporting the UK’s transition to lower-carbon generation.

DSR is where energy users change their electricity consumption patterns in response to a signal or incentive from the network operator. The ability to tap into flexibility sources ensures power supply and demand are matched, that the grid is not overloaded and that supplies are at the correct voltage and frequency across the network.

Demand response is when energy users are provided with a financial incentive to turn down or turn off non-essential processes at times of peak demand helping the grid to balance supply and demand without the need for additional generation (e.g. power stations) to be used. Energy users can also be asked to use excess energy from the grid, for example on a windy day.

Typical processes that are turned down or off include lighting, air conditioning, electric heating, pumps, and other non-essential equipment. Participating in demand response is voluntary and is designed not to impact on day to day business operations or comfort. Demand response participants include supermarkets, industrial manufacturers, universities, commercial and public buildings, and hospitals.


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