A new study from the regulator Ofgem has revealed that demand response in the non-domestic sector could reduce peak demand by up to a third.
The study finds that non-domestic buildings (excluding industry) contribute approximately 15 GW which is around 30% of the total to winter peak demand’s on the national grid in Britain.
The assessment of the technical potential of demand side response measures, including refrigeration and lighting loads, HVAC, flexibility in hot water suggests these could reduce the winter peak demand in this sector from 1-4.5 GW.
The report, which was prepared for Ofgem by Element Energy and De Montfort University, was aimed to quantify the technical potential for demand side response in non-domestic buildings, and assess the barriers to further uptake of such demand side response.
The biggest contributors to non-domestic peak have been found to be education, retail and commercial offices sectors which contribute around 50% collectively. The other contributors include communications and transport, health, government, hotels and catering, sports and leisure and warehouses and these contribute a relatively even amount which suggests that for the full potential to be reached there needs to be participation from buildings across all sub-sectors.
Engagement in demand response for this is low, due to some problems including lack of focus on energy issues, a lack of awareness of demand response measures, concerns of negative impacts on service levels and an insufficient economic case for action.
The report states that a range of enabling mechanisms are needed to create a greater uptake of demand response in non-domestic buildings. Measures are required to reduce the complexity of demand response arrangements, increase confidence and awareness of demand response and demonstration of the economic case.