Energy storage trial from EDF and Brighton & Hove City council

solar panels on roof

EDF is working on five new trials exploring how solar solutions for social housing, incentivised demand flexibility as well as using electric vehicles and heat pumps for electric storage, can help a wide range of customers across the country save cash and carbon.

Over 2,000 customers will be invited to take part in the trials, with 1,000 participating in schemes to shift in consumption, including being rewarded with free electricity if they can reduce peak consumption during the week.

Working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City council, another group of EDF customers in social housing properties will have solar panels installed, with some provided with a storage solution. EDF technology will then assess if there is any excess electricity stored and will look to find the best price and sell it back to the grid, with that money passed onto the customer.

The two electric vehicle charging initiatives will include a tariff focused on flexibility, utilising automated controls of EV charging to provide the best value to customers. And an export tariff to see how customers utilise bi-directional charging, which allows the power stored in (EV) batteries to be directed back towards the home and, if they have excess, the grid.

A new heat pump tariff will also be tested, providing owners with advice and automation so they can maintain their homes at temperatures which suit them, whilst saving cash and carbon by avoiding high-cost peak hours.

The trials, that have been backed by £1.3m of funding by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero as part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), will demonstrate the impact on consumers and the electricity grid based on conditions projected for 2030.

Data will be generated, collected and analysed throughout the trials to analyse the impact on customer bills and their usage. There will also be customer research and interviews to gain vital insights on their feasibility moving forward.

EDF is joined on the project by four other partners:

  • Indra Renewable Technologies, established innovators, manufacturers and developers of EV and smart energy technology solutions
  • Brighton & Hove City Council who have robust net zero ambitions and are always exploring new ways to help their customers save money
  • Loughborough University who are experts in people-centred design
  • The University of Sheffield who will look at system level analysis and market trends

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director of Customers at EDF, said:

It is imperative we continue to look at ways we can save customers cash and carbon and being part of a project which is providing five exciting trials to do just that is incredibly important and exciting.

Electricity use is set to double by 2050 so it is crucial that we explore new ways we can reduce pressure on the grid and customers’ pockets. Trialling new tariffs and assets and giving customers greater control will be vital if we are to achieve our goal of reducing the need for fossil fuels and truly achieve net zero homes.

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