What does ‘USER’ mean?
USER stands for the ‘Ubiquitous Storage Empowering Response’.
Hot water storage is already available in thousands of homes and is the most common way to store energy in the UK. By using the Smart Hub we can empower households to provide Demand Side Response through their hot water cylinders.
What is Demand Side Response?
Demand Side Response (DSR) means being smarter and more flexible with our energy use. By making the most of technologies like hot water storage, we can capture energy and use it later in the day when we need it. This is particularly important now that we rely on more renewables for our energy which are dependent on the wind and sun. DSR means that we don’t have to waste renewables.
Because of the importance of DSR, those who provide the service can receive financial return from the National Grid as part of the Firm Frequency Response standard. This trial is helping us understand how people can take advantage of this opportunity, from the comfort of their home.
Why is it important?
If supply and demand aren’t matched, it means that somewhere in the system a gap needs to be filled. If we can’t use renewable energy sources to fill the gap, we will have to rely on fossil fuels which are easier to manage but are costly and worse for the environment. By using Demand Side Response we can make the most of the renewables available to us, saving us money and reducing emissions.
Can I participate?
Yes. Simply fill in our online form, we’ll review your details and contact you directly to discuss your application in more detail.
What is in it for me if I participate?
Energy is cheaper when demand is low. By buying this energy and storing it for later, you can save on your energy bills.
By supporting the use of renewables, you can help limit our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce your carbon footprint.
If you participate in the trial, the Smart Hub will be installed in your home for free.
Through National Grid’s Frequency Response, the Smart Hub will allow users to earn a revenue in the future.
If you wish, you can participate in additional research activities that will be undertaken by Energy Systems Catapult and earn up £50 in Amazon vouchers.
How will I be affected if I participate?
Aside from the benefits outlined in the question above, you won’t be affected in any way. The Smart Hub optimises when your electrical immersion heater is turned on so that water is only heated when it is actually going to be needed. This reduces the amount of energy that we waste, for example by heating water and then not using it.
We call this sort of technology ‘fit and forget’. This means that although you’ll receive the benefits from the Hub throughout its life time, it will have no noticeable impact on your comfort, and it won’t reduce the availability of hot water in your home.