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Demand Control

12 - Demand Control

  • Proposer
  • Proposing Company NORTHERN POWERGRID (NORTHEAST) PLC
  • Status Closed
  • Urgent No
  • Synopsis

    Given industry aspirations in the arena of smart meters and smart grids as features of low carbon networks there may be scope to expand the scope of DCUSA schedule 8 Demand Control to facilitate smart grids. It may be in the wider public interest to extend the facility to enforce changes to existing Standard Settlement Configurations (SSCs) when capacity headroom is or may be breached.
    DCUSA Schedule 8 (Demand Control) already provides for restrictions on changes to existing Standard Settlement Configurations (SSCs) in defined areas. Two issues have arisen:

    1. There is a minor point of clarification required in the current schedule; and
    2. There is an opportunity to expand the scope of the schedule to facilitate ‘Smart Grids’ by enforcing changes to existing SSCs when capacity headroom is or may be breached. For example, heat pumps or  electric vehicle chargers may be connected to domestic customers’ premises and, if left uncontrolled, could have a significant adverse impact on peak demand. It may be more efficient, coordinated and economical to impose some form of off-peak tariff, and potentially direct load control, to move that demand away from general system peak.

    Issue 1 concerns clauses 6.4(d), 7.4(d) and 8.4(c) which refer to “…….any changes to switching times in order to affect changes to SSCs…..” Although the custom and practice is that these “switching times” apply to both the meter registers and to (at least some of) the connected load, this point is not made clear in the drafting. It is proposed to confirm the current custom and practice by inserting the words “meter register and demand” before “switching times” to give “……..changes to meter register and Demand switching times in order to effect changes to SSCs……”

    Issue 2 concerns clause 8.4(a). This clause seems to restrict the scope of an Emergency SRN to situations where “any modifications of Customer Demand induced by changes to SSCs in the area identified in that notice may threaten Security of Supply”. Particularly during the transition to a low-carbon economy, there may be changes in customers’ usage that do not involve a change of SSC but do involve a significant change in magnitude and pattern of consumption, for example the installation of heat pumps or electric vehicle chargers. It may be better to impose some form of off-peak tariff, and potentially direct load control, to move that demand away from general system peak. This would require changes to clause 8.4 (see next section for proposed drafting) to allow for an Emergency SRN (or some equivalent) to constitute notice that any material change to the pattern of Customer Demand may threaten Security of Supply, not just modifications of Customer Demand induced by changes to SSCs.