Want to make renewable energy more viable?

BWCE are looking for households in two areas of the South West (see map below) to join Flex Community. In our Flex Community trial householders are helping us to work out how we can best match household demand to renewable supply by changing their patterns of electricity use.

You will need to already own or be planning to invest in either a:

  • Electric car/ev charge post
  • Heat pump
  • Immersion Heater (as primary source of hot water)

By adding a few bits of clever kit, you will be making your green tech even greener. Keep on reading if you’d like to find out more.

Helping match demand to availability

We all know that green energy is the way of the future. 40% of the UK’s energy came from renewables in 2020 which is expected to keep increasing.

But, there is a challenge facing the industry. Renewable sources can’t be turned up and down as needed, so we currently rely on fossil fuels to make up any shortfall.

Reducing the energy rush hour

Just like with traffic, the electricity grid has its own rush hour. The demand peaks at around 6pm as people get back home from work, which unfortunately doesn’t always match when renewables, particularly solar, are at their strongest.

Any shortfall in green energy during this time is met by turning up energy from gas or coal power plants. 

So if someone drives home in their electric vehicle (EV) and plugs it in to charge at 6pm, the odds are it’s adding to the need for fossil fuels.

How to match supply and demand

Having enough electricity when we need it is a key issue, one solution is to match household demand to when there is more renewable electricity being supplied to the grid. This is a simple, low-cost approach that will avoid costly grid upgrades which have high environmental impacts.

Who we are looking for

To prove that demand matching is viable we are starting with these key technologies –

  • Electric car/ev charge post
  • Heat pump
  • Immersion Heater (as primary source of heating hot water)

If you already own or are planning to buy one of these then we would love to hear from you.

The addition of no-cost smart tech will enable electricity demand from these energy devices to better match when renewable energy is available on the grid.

You will still be able to use these devices as normal. Your car will be charged and your house and water will be heated. There will just be subtle changes in when they are using the most energy.

Where you live

Currently we are looking for participants in Bath & North East Somerset and some adjoining communities (see MAP).

From June 2021 we are broadening our area to include parts of Somerset encompassing Wells, Shepton Mallet, Wedmore, Glastonbury and Street.

Want to get involved?

If you want to play a part in enabling a renewable electricity grid please get in touch, and tell others for whom this project may be relevant.

For more information please check out the resources below


Energy Demand ChallengeFrequently Asked Questions