The Sunshine tariff project testing the ability of time of use (ToU) tariffs to promote domestic demand side response (DSR) has been completed with mixed results, suggesting homeowners are not able to shift enough demand to offset the need for grid upgrades. The trial, which ran over 1 April – 30 September 2016, offered participants a smart meter and a reduced tariff rate of 5p/kWh between 10am-4pm compared to 18p/kWh for the remaining hours. These ‘Sunshine hours’ were chosen as they were closest to the income received by a solar generator through the feed-in tariff and therefore could create a greater sense of connection between the customer and the solar farm. The results of the joint project between Western Power Distribution (WPD), Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network, Tempus Energy and Regen SW showed that those on the Sunshine Tariff on average shifted 10% of their demand compared to the control group. The analysis states that in order to offset the generation from a 250kW solar farm approximately 650 Sunshine Tariff customers would be required, around 20% of the homes in Wadebridge where the trial took place. The group of households using automation technology were able to shift 13% of their consumption into the 10am – 4pm period compared to 5% for those without automation, suggesting just 360 Sunshine Tariff customers would be required to offset generation from the same size solar farm. While this demonstrates the potential of automated control technology in shifting electricity consumption to the middle of the day, the project showed that domestic DSR is only able to shift limited demand.
Solar Portal 20th Feb 2017 read more »