Energy firm opens door to the most important market in flexible energy

Britain’s leading demand response aggregator, Flexitricity, has launched a new electricity and gas supply service, which will bring the flexibility of industrial and commercial energy users and small generators into the Balancing Mechanism – the real-time electricity market National Grid uses to balance supply and demand.

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, welcomed the launch, which will give businesses direct access to both wholesale energy markets and the Balancing Mechanism (BM).

Energy prices in the BM can reach £2,500/MWh, compared to around £50/MWh in wholesale markets. The BM has previously been the preserve of traditional energy suppliers, such as the Big Six. By taking the flexibility of industrial, commercial and public-sector energy users right into the BM, Edinburgh-based Flexitricity will give its customers a slice of this premium market, while cutting the cost for National Grid and all energy users. 

Speaking of the launch, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The development of a flexible electricity system is a key aspect of our vision towards achieving greener, more efficient energy.

Energy ‘aggregators’ play a vital role in helping us to manage our electricity systems as we move towards a more decentralised system, ensuring that many more consumers can benefit from providing flexibility to their local electricity networks.

By taking advantage of the changing energy market, innovative products and services like Flexitricity+ can help to drive down costs for consumers and industry, champion innovation and growth, and help us to meet the ambitions laid out in the Energy Strategy.”

Rachel Maitland, Flexitricity’s Head of Supply, added: “Today marks a significant day for our customers, as well as bill-payers across the country, by making our electricity system greener, fairer and more efficient. Flexitricity+ is a disruptive new proposition and we’re very proud to be the first to deliver it. Our track record of innovation, strength of existing operations and technical expertise mean that we’re ideally positioned to maximise the revenue our customers can earn from this marketplace.

We’re currently in discussion with a range of organisations who see the powerful business benefits of using our new service. Community energy schemes, combined heat and power (CHP) generators, cold stores, renewables, gas peaking plant and battery developers are all in a very strong position to benefit from Flexitricity+.”

The first customer contract secured is with Gateshead Energy Company (GEC) – a subsidiary of Gateshead Council, set up in 2016 to serve Gateshead with low cost, low carbon heat and power. GEC operate the Gateshead District Energy Scheme, which in 2017 won the Association for Distributed Energy’s Visionary Project award.

As a participant in the Balancing Mechanism, Gateshead Energy Company will generate revenue through its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant – an excellent source of flexible reserve energy – which, as a publicly owned company, ultimately will increase support for community services.

Jim Gillon, Energy Services Manager, acting for Gateshead Energy Company, said: “As a publicly owned, local heat and power generator, Gateshead Energy Company needs to continually look for ways improve its income base in order to support a low-cost energy offer to local customers. Flexitricity has already helped GEC do that since 2017, with access to the Capacity Market and reserve power markets.

When we went to the market recently to seek a new electricity supplier that could also help us access the Balancing Mechanism, Flextricity’s proposal was clearly the best value solution for GEC, so, we are very pleased to be able to broaden our relationship and to build on the excellent service we have received from Flexitricity to date.”