Are Electric Vehicles the road to recovery for a low carbon future?
What is flexibility?
The energy transition is opening up a new world of opportunities to businesses. As the UK works towards net zero, increasing amounts of renewable energy are included in the grid mix, meaning that the way we use electricity needs to adapt. You might have increasingly heard the term ‘flexibility’ recently, but what actually is it, and how could your business benefit from it?
Put simply, it’s a way to automatically adjust when devices use electricity in order to save money and help the UK transition to a zero carbon energy system.
If you’re already on a renewable supply contract, you might be wondering why you need to further reduce and optimise your energy usage, if it’s already ‘green’. Buying renewable energy is an excellent start, but we still have a long way to go to achieve net zero. To get there, we need to synchronise our energy usage as much as possible with natural power to avoid any going to waste. That means going ‘beyond green’ and being more flexible with your energy usage to help the grid, the environment, and your business along the way.
Good for business
- Being aware of your energy usage and how you can optimise it can help your business save money. Flexibility services can provide you with insights into your usage and automatically shift your device consumption away from expensive times of the day, during peak demand. This can reduce the cost of running flexible devices and protect your business against any rising network costs, without affecting your business operations.
- Being flexible could not only help you save money, but actually generate revenue! There are various schemes in the UK that will pay you to be on standby and offer your flexible load to the grid in times of need, such as responding to a balancing event.
Good for the grid
- A resilient, flexible grid system can better handle the fluctuating electricity demand that comes with low carbon technologies, such as EVs, and therefore enable a faster roll out.
- Having more flexibility makes it easier and quicker for the grid to respond to fluctuating demand and generation. This makes the network more resilient to changes in demand and helps avoid blackouts.
- Being more flexible in how and when you use electricity will avoid the need for continual infrastructure upgrades. In a bid to decarbonise and reach net zero by 2050, many businesses and industries are making the transition to be powered by renewable electricity rather than fossil fuels. As demand for electricity increases, the UK’s distribution infrastructure (such as cables, pylons and substations) will struggle to cope. Using flexibility services and being smarter with your electricity usage will enable everyone to get the most out of the existing infrastructure and avoid continual, expensive upgrade programmes.
Good for the environment
- A flexible energy system can better manage the intermittency that comes with natural renewable power, and therefore allow more renewable energy on the grid, helping the UK accelerate towards net zero.
- Having a flexible load can help balance the network during peak periods and reduce the grid’s reliance on fossil fuels during these times.
Could my business benefit from flexibility?
Whatever type of energy contract you are on, you can still access all the benefits that come with optimising your usage. If your business has refrigeration, HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning), energy storage, heat pumps, or any other form of flexible load, you have the potential to optimise your usage and save money.
Previously, opportunities to access flexibility were reserved for larger, tech-focused businesses. Many smaller businesses have struggled to participate, as they neither have the time nor in-house resources to focus on their energy consumption or efficiency.
However, through our collaboration with Qbots Energy and their QEnergy™ platform, our aim is to empower small-medium businesses to manage their energy consumption and costs with ease. Currently in trial phase, the QEnergyTM platform can provide valuable insights into your business’s energy demand patterns and makes tailored recommendations to improve your energy efficiency measures.
Due to launch fully in 2021, the platform can automatically adjust your equipment, such as turning it off or down, to help your business make behaviour changes, reduce your energy usage, and save on energy bills. The project can also offer your business the necessary funding to support any investments in energy efficiency technology.
Louis Heywood, Project Manager at Qbots Energy, said: "The QEnergy Project is dedicated to reducing the UK’s carbon output by helping SMEs to become more energy efficient. For this reason, it made perfect sense to get Bryt Energy involved in the project, a future-focused, zero carbon electricity supplier on a mission to help businesses become more efficient."
Get in touch
If you’re looking for advice on flexibility or would like to take part in Qbots Energy’s trial, get in touch with our team of experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0121 726 7570. Not a customer yet? You can get an instant online quote for our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply, here.