Smart electric vehicle (EV) charging and other intelligent energy systems if they were more widely adopted could have saved as much as £133m in electricity grid costs during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Flexibility First Forum suggests, which includes organisations from across the cleantech industry such as Octopus Energy, Centrica, E.ON, Moixa  Kaluza and the Solar Trade Association – the Flexibility First Forum group has written to Ofgem to highlight the benefits by a more intelligent energy system that could be unlocked across the UK .

National Grid increased balancing costs by £500 million this summer – these extra charges will ultimately be paid by consumers as part of their energy bills  which were caused by abundant renewable generation and record low energy demand creating balancing challenges during the lockdown,

This is largely a result of balancing the grid using legacy solutions currently being required, such as paying renewable generation to switch off when it is not needed – the Flexibility First Forum advises technologies such as smart electric heaters, EVs and home solar batteries which are able to intelligently use power during periods of low demand and could be helping to create a more resilient, lower-cost system.

The letter by the cleantech businesses and organisations says six million electric vehicles could have provided the grid with an extra 3.6TWh of energy, saving up to £133 million, which would equate to a 27% reduction in balancing costs for National Grid and a subsequent bill saving of £4.82 for each UK household.

Founder and CEO of Octopus Energy, Greg Jackson said: “The bank holiday weekends have been a wake-up call. With a flexible, digital grid, cheap renewable power would have saved households money.

“Without it, they will be forced to pay billions in infrastructure upgrades and compensation payments. We need to fix this, fast.”

Lockdown Smart EV charging could have saved £133m

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