Hospitals are among energy using companies and organisations signing up to a National Grid scheme to receive payments in return for reducing the power they draw from the grid at peak usage times.
Demand Side Response should not just be seen as an emergency back-up crisis measure in cold winters but as a routine way of helping to balance supply and demand.
That’s the view of National Grid which has launched an initiative called Power Responsive to encourage more companies to get involved.
Hospitals can help reduce demand on the National Grid by using back-up power generators at certain times of peak energy demand, or slightly adjusting air conditioning systems which can be easily done without any adverse effect on patient care.
For hospital managers it provides a real opportunity to cut back on their energy bill and carbon footprint, while also raising additional revenue at a time when budgets are under intense pressure.
Cordi O’Hara, director of UK system operator at National Grid, argues that demand side reduction is a cost-effective way to meet peak power demand at a time when more energy is generated by intermittent sources like wind and solar farms.
“We are in a period of significant change for the energy industry as we decarbonise the energy system,” she said. “Continuing to build generation to meet that peak demand may not be the best use of consumer money.”
And it’s not just about turning down energy use, under its Demand Turn Up service National Grid pays businesses to increase demand when there’s too much energy in the system, such as on a sunny summer’s day.
For more information visit the Power Responsive website