Posted: 2 March 2016

Rewards for businesses switching on to DSR

National Grid, Power Responsive, Demand Side Response, reducing carbon footprint, financial incentives
National Grid Cafe-0174_RT_highres_550x250

We need to ensure Britain’s homes and businesses have the power they need at the times they need it.


National Grid is urging businesses to capitalise on the fast-developing demand side response (DSR) market. By using energy more flexibly, businesses of all shapes and sizes could earn solid financial returns and reduce their carbon footprint, explains Paul Lowbridge, Power Responsive Campaign Lead.

The UK’s electricity system is in a state of flux. It’s a rapidly changing landscape, where more renewable generation is coming online and older and traditional power stations are closing. As a result, available power is declining and there’s greater uncertainty in the system.

As system operator, National Grid is responsible for constantly balancing supply and demand. We need to ensure Britain’s homes and businesses have the power they need at the times they need it, and we spend around £850 million each year on balancing services to make that happen. Moreover, we expect the underlying requirement for these services to grow incrementally over the next decade.

For some time now, we have offered financial incentives to businesses that help us to balance services by using energy more flexibly, and there are now more benefits for businesses than ever before. Last summer we launched Power Responsive, aiming to attract new businesses that can turn up, turn down or shift their energy use in return for rewards.

Since then, we’ve simplified existing products, developed new ones and made it easier than ever for new businesses to enter the market. So if you’re one of the many energy managers who have considered participating in DSR, but never acted on it, here’s how you can get involved and what you stand to gain.

How can my business benefit from Demand Side Response (DSR)?


The goal of Power Responsive is for businesses to become more intelligent energy users.

DSR focuses on businesses that can modify their generation or consumption in reaction to changing supply and demand on the national energy system. Demand side services are simply those that involve businesses turning up, turning down or shifting their electricity use, in response to a signal, to help balance the grid. In return, they receive strong financial incentives, while also reducing their carbon footprint, which is great for any business that is serious about corporate social responsibility.

How do I get involved?

If your business is considering providing balancing services you have two main avenues for entering the market. If you’re able to meet a product’s requirements on your own, you can provide services directly to National Grid, by emailing or calling +44 (0)1926 654611. If the volume you’re able to provide is too small, you can work with one of a growing number of Demand Aggregators or other third parties who will accumulate the combined efforts of lots of sites to reach the minimum threshold.

What is Power Responsive?

Power Responsive is a collaborative programme of work, launched by National Grid to grow participation in demand side response in Great Britain by 2020. It strives to bring businesses, suppliers, policy makers and other stakeholders together in order to maximise opportunities and shape the growth of the market in a collaborative way.

The goal of Power Responsive is for businesses to become more intelligent energy users, saving on total energy costs and securing the UK’s energy long into the future. National Grid believes that every business can participate and benefit from this fast-growing market. Businesses that are interested in demand side response should visit National Grid’s Power Responsive website, where they can sign up to the distribution list and receive all the latest updates on new products and campaign developments. Energy users can also ask specific questions by emailing

How else can I increase revenue through demand side management?

There are several other ways to get involved in demand side management and earn revenue for your business.

  • Frequency Response (FFR) is a monthly electronically-tendered service through which National Grid procures energy. Providers must be able to supply a minimum of 10MW to the grid within 30 seconds of a frequency event.
  • FFR Bridging is for businesses that are unable to meet the 10MW threshold for FFR. It allows you to build up your DSR volume over a set term of one or two years.
  • Frequency Control by Demand Management (FCDM) – is a bilateral agreement for businesses to interrupt a minimum volume of 3MW of their electricity supply with two seconds’ notice for a period of 30 minutes.
  • Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) is one of the most accessible services to new providers, with a 3MW entry capacity and extended response time of 20 minutes.
  • STOR Runway is for businesses that don’t have the ability to provide 3MW through STOR.
  • Fast Reserve is for providers who can start delivering the service within two minutes of instruction and reach a minimum of 50MW within four minutes of instruction.
  • Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR) is aimed at major energy users who are willing to reduce their electricity use between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays in return for payment.
  • Demand Turn Up is a new opportunity offering a route to market for businesses that have the flexibility to turn up their demand.
  • Enhanced Frequency Response is for businesses who need to provide full frequency response within one second or less of a frequency deviation (considerably faster than existing services).

To find out more contact or visit the website


Gas innovation in full flow
“We’ve simplified existing products, developed new ones and made it easier than ever for new businesses to enter the market”

Paul Lowbridge, Power Responsive Campaign Lead