DSR white paper

Mass deployment of heat pumps alone is not enough to reach the UK’s net zero targets

geo (Green Energy Options) the smart energy specialist and heat pump manufacturer Vaillant have released a white paper outlining several challenges the mass deployment of heat pumps will need to overcome and provided a series of recommendations to make the initiative a success without negatively impacting the grid.

Deploying heat pumps to 21 million homes is a key recommendation by the UK’s Climate Change Committee to support the UK’s net zero strategy, however the electrification of heat on such a large scale alongside the increased adoption of EV’s will drive significant peaks in demand. To reduce the pressures this will cause on the grid, we suggest utilising the flexibility heat pumps can offer with smart grid technology that manages the peaks of supply and demand.

Smart grid technology such as Demand Side Response (DSR) has the ability to control heat pumps automatically, managing the needs of consumers and the grid and has the potential to save the electricity network billions of pounds in infrastructure reinforcement.

To effectively enable domestic DSR capabilities in smart appliances we propose manufacturers adopt a set of existing standards (EEBUS, Matter and OCPP) with a flexible architecture supporting EV charging solutions, heat pumps, solar PV, battery storage and white goods.

The GB smart metering system can also enable domestic DSR, by providing core data to support peak load control in the home, base-lining data for DSR service and providing low voltage substation monitoring information to Demand Network Operators (DNOs). Existing smart meters can share real-time power readings with home energy management systems, avoiding costly additional metering currently needed for DSR services.

While using smart protocols to control heat pumps will reduce peak demands on the grid, the amount of flexibility is dependent on the thermal properties of homes which is a prerequisite for a successful deployment.