Outlining a potential set of common principles for quantifying demand flexibility, considering the value of different methods and calling for a standardised approach to baselining in future.


As we transition to an energy system powered by an increasing number of renewables, we’ll rely on demand flexibility more – when consumers shift their electricity consumption to support the system. As flexibility services expand, we need robust and common methods underpinning them to establish a fair playing field for market participants and consumers.


Centre for Net Zero undertook analysis on the performance of a range of baselines used in Great Britain, with a specific focus on accurately remunerating individual households for the flexibility provided during events, similar to those in the ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service.

This research prompted us to publish a set of potential common principles for quantifying demand flexibility, considering different methods and when these might be appropriate, and calling for further collaboration to coalesce around a more standardised approach to baselining in future. We drew on contributions from Enedis, Enel X and National Grid Electricity Distribution and Octopus Energy, as well as discussions with a range of parties across industry.

Our recommended next steps focus on building consensus around a common set of principles and guidelines:

  • Set up a baselining working group, made up of both buyers and sellers of flexibility, with a core focus of agreeing on a set of common principles.
  • Establish good practice guidelines for market operators now and consider potential rules to regulate baselining in future aligned with the agreed principles.
  • Develop a “library of baselines” to guide those buying flexibility to identify suitable baselines for the mix of customer archetypes in the future energy system.

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