Why a ‘wait and see’ approach to battery storage could cost your business dearly

Amidst a climate of political and economic uncertainty it can be hard for businesses to plan for the future and make long-term decisions. But momentum behind energy system change is growing – and the results are beginning to show.

Already this year the UK has had its first ever coal free day, seen day-time demand fall below night-time demand, and has experienced record low-levels of carbon intensity. Statistics published in June show that over a quarter of the UK’s generation came from renewable sources in the first three months of 2017.

Businesses who act quickly to take advantage of new technologies and business models as they emerge will be in the strongest position to capitalise on the competitive advantage and brand benefits they can deliver.

Battery storage technology is a prime example. A ‘wait and see’ approach means missing out on valuable revenue and savings opportunities available now, transmission and distribution savings being amongst the most obvious.

Transmission costs, known as TNUoS, are the three half-hour periods of highest system demand between November and February, separated by at least 10 days. These are known as Triads.  They usually occur on a weekday and tend to fall between 17:00 and 18:30, but can only be determined after winter has finished.  Therefore, it is a retrospective cost that a business will have to pay for.

The first priority for any business is to minimise demand from the grid during a potential Triad period. Consuming electricity stored in a battery rather than taking power from the grid during a Triad period will avoid astronomically high charges and reduce the costs of using the local distribution network too (these appear on your bill as DUoS red band charges).

Become Energy is a project developer, funder and asset manager of battery storage systems for large energy consumers. We put batteries to good use on our customers’ behalf to minimise these network costs.

This involves making sure a battery is topped up with cheap electricity ahead of expensive periods of the day, such as Triad hours.  Once we enter a Triad period, we discharge the battery to bring your metered consumption – and Triad charges – close to zero. If we’re able to reduce your consumption to the point that we can export electricity back to the grid, we could even earn you income.  For example, a customer in London with a load of 1MW during Triads periods could save £26,000 on their electricity bill.

Ofgem has announced a review of network charges but these costs – which already account for some 30% of the average business’ electricity bill – are expected to rise. Whatever the future holds, battery storage means your business can respond – taking command of when and from where it consumes electricity – and unlock value wherever it lies.