Electricity system flexibility – Demand-side response survey

Publication date
4th April 2016
Information types
Policy areas

DSR providers and users - survey

We have conducted a survey about demand-side response (DSR). The survey closed on 31 May.

We are analysing responses to better understand any barriers which may exist to industrial and commercial (I&C) consumers’ ability to provide DSR.


As Great Britain decarbonises, I&C consumers should be able to offer their flexibility with no barriers in the way. This flexibility that I&C consumers can provide typically is a process called demand-side response (DSR), where customers respond to a signal to alter, or shift, the amount of energy they draw from the grid, at a specific time, in order to make savings on their electricity costs (through direct payments or reduced bills). In this survey we are interested to learn more about both demand-led (eg turn down of processes) and generation-led (eg use of standby generation) DSR.

Using DSR can support security of supply, contribute to sustainable development and make electricity more affordable. Many I&C customers engage in DSR via aggregators – organisations that coordinate consumers’ flexibility (demand or generation) to offer it where it is needed.

As part of our flexibility programme, we are finding out which areas might benefit from flexibility and how we can support this transition. Two of the programme’s current areas of focus are:

  • exploring how to support more large I&C customers to provide DSR; and
  • clarifying the role of aggregators and their relationship with other electricity industry parties.

The results from the survey will inform our forthcoming Call for Evidence on flexibility in the energy system and our further work in this area.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this survey please contact Flexibility@ofgem.gov.uk.