Connecting today’s electric heaters to tomorrow’s grid

Young dad reading a book to his young son on a grey sofa with a table, table lamp and bed behind them

Hive has won the go-ahead from Ofgem to trial a pioneering new approach to trading energy flexibility in the UK.

Working with Glen Dimplex, a leading manufacturer of electric heaters, we’re launching a new project that will help lower energy bills for consumers – and also pave the way for more domestic devices to be used for balancing the grid.

The electric heater’s getting smarter

Glen Dimplex’s Quantum heater is a highly efficient model that stores heat during off-peak hours to be used throughout the day. Easy to install and maintain, it’s often used by local authorities and affordable housing providers to give residents low-cost heat on demand.

Thanks to the collaboration with Hive, Quantum heaters will now be able to use their storage capacity to sell spare electricity back to the grid at busy times – an innovation that will mean even lower energy bills for residents.

Shaping the grid of the future

The project has been given the green light as part of Ofgem’s Sandbox programme, which offers industry innovators the opportunity to road-test new ideas for the energy system.

Thanks to Sandbox, Hive and Glen Dimplex are able to participate in the energy market’s balancing mechanism before one of the key technical requirements – high-quality latent flexibility – is offered as a market-wide standard.

It’s one of the first times that domestic customers have been given access to the grid’s balancing mechanism. In practical terms, it means residents can benefit from energy trading from their storage heaters, even if they don’t yet have smart meters installed in their homes.

Stef Peeters, Hive’s lead DSR & Smart Energy Solutions Architect, says: “This is another fantastic proof point of the capability we have embedded in the Hive Honeycomb platform to bring the value of Demand Side Response and Virtual Power Plants to homes across the UK.”

More about the project

The trial will run for two years starting in September 2022. The first year will be limited to 2.5 MW (roughly 375 homes) but has the possibility to grow in scale and scope, unlocking extra value for customers.

> Find out more about electric storage heaters

Hive launched in 2013 and is one of the top smart thermostat providers in the UK. With 2.1 million customers and counting, it is part of British Gas, one of Britain’s leading suppliers of energy and services. The range of Hive products and services are designed to work together, to offer affordable, easy to use solutions and make a difference in people’s lives.

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