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The introduction of renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs) has changed the energy landscape. Our existing grid infrastructure is under increasing strain, and as a result, we need look into smarter ways to manage how energy is used. The FRED trial aims to do just that – it will explore Demand Side Response (DSR) and its place in a future, low carbon energy system.

Demand Side Response within homes is an intervention by consumers to flexibly alter consumption patterns in real-time at times of stress on the main electricity system, or in response to network operator price signals. Using an intelligent system to adjust demand in real time can benefit both the electricity network and consumers by:

  • Reducing consumption during times of stress on the electricity network, for example by switching off non-essential services.
  • Reducing bills, for example using appliances when electricity prices are low.
  • Optimising renewables, for example charging batteries when there is a lot of solar or wind energy.

While industrial Demand Side Response is reasonably well established, the opportunities for domestic Demand Side Response have not been fully explored. This is why Evergreen Smart Power, Tonik Energymyenergi, the Energy Systems Catapult and SPECIFIC have teamed up for this trial.

Over the course of 2019 and 2020 the FRED project will demonstrate how Evergreen Smart Power’s  Virtual Power Plant platform works with MyEnergi’s zappi and eddi devices to orchestrate domestic heating and vehicle charging to unlock flexibility in domestic energy supply.

It will also work with over 250 MyEnergi customers to explore how best to reward them for being more flexible in how they use energy at home.


SPECIFIC’s Active Building design principle integrates renewable energy technologies into buildings for heat, power and transport. It uses an intelligent system to control and release solar energy to wherever and whenever it is needed – within the building, to electric vehicles or the grid.

The extensive systems and monitoring that we already have in the Active Office, combined with engaged users and a fleet of electric vehicles, makes it an ideal place to trial the Virtual Power Plant platform and test different ways of controlling and modifying energy demand.

In a connected future, effective Demand Side Response will be essential.

DSR Image by Engie Group