The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), in collaboration with demand side response (DSR) aggregators, has published a voluntary Code of Conduct ahead of the launch of a Code Compliance Scheme early next year.
Called Flex Assure, the Code of Conduct sets common standards for those who coordinate or ‘aggregate' demand response from individual consumers.
In setting these standards, Flex Assure will provide assurance to those using the services of aggregators to participate in the rapidly growing DSR market.
The ADE, 17 aggregators and eight stakeholders from across industry, including Ofgem, National Grid and Government, have participated in the development of the Flex Assure Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct is being released ahead of the Compliance Scheme to enable feedback and expressions of interest from wider industry.
The ADE calculates that 16 per cent of the UK's peak electricity requirement - or 9.8 gigawatts - could be provided by businesses being flexible in their energy demand, which could save UK energy consumers £600 million by 2020 and £2.3 billion by 2035.
The Code will help this target be achieved by providing energy users of businesses, commercial and industrial sites with confidence in the aggregator service they will receive.
"The System Operator has set an aspiration to meet 30-50 per cent of balancing capability from demand response by 2020 but most businesses are not energy experts, and there is an industry challenge to get more businesses on board and realise the full market potential," said ADE Director Dr Tim Rotheray.
"Aggregators have technical and policy expertise which can help sites fully capture the benefits of DSR, providing a route to market for those businesses which do not want to invest time and capital into energy specialisation.
"Flex Assure will give potential and existing DSR customers a common set of standards by which to compare aggregators and their claims and ensure they are able to quickly understand which providers meet those standards."
The Code focusses on five areas and proposes minimum standards in each:
1. Sales and marketing
Sales representatives must be properly trained and provide honest and factual marketing material to customers.
2. Technical due diligence and site visits
Critical energy assets must be safe from the threat of cybercrime, requiring best practice to protect customer's data and infrastructure. To protect on-site personnel, site visits must be conducted in a safe and secure manner.
3. Proposals and pre-contractual information
The pre-contracting process must be transparent and not make false promises to customers and is representative of true savings and payback to customers.
4. Customer contracts
Contracts must be accurate and clearly indicate any potential obligations customers may be committing to.
There must be clear, transparent processes for recording, processing and responding to complaints.
When launched early next year, Flex Assure will be open to all aggregators and licensed suppliers offering DSR services, including Capacity Market and Balancing Services.
Initially Flex Assure will apply to commercial, industrial and public sector energy users and be extended into the domestic market as it develops. Aggregators interested in signing up to Flex Assure, or providing feedback on the Code, should email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Code of Conduct can be downloaded here.
The following organisations and stakeholders have collaborated with ADE on the development of Flex Assure.
• Energy Pool
• Enel X
• Kiwi Power
• npower Business Solutions
• Open Energi
• Reactive Technologies
• Aggregate Industries
• Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
• The National Cyber Crime Centre
• Crown Commercial Service
• National Grid
• Major Energy Users' Council