Consumer protection: New ‘risk register’ launched for home energy flexibility

Citizens Advice, Energy UK and the Association of Decentralised Energy have teamed up to protect consumers in the domestic demand side response market, which incentivises people to change the way they use energy based on price signals

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A new initiative aimed at protecting consumers from potential risks in the domestic clean energy technologies market has been launched.

Citizens Advice, Energy UK and the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) have teamed up to develop a “risk register” for domestic demand side response (DSR), which incentivises people to change the way they use energy based on price signals.

That includes incentivising consumers to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) at night when demand is low.

The new register looks at potential consumer risks, where they are covered by existing legislation, what work is currently being undertaken to address these risks in the future and where there is likely to be a protection gap in the future.

As the UK decarbonises transport, the use of green technologies such as EVs, heat pumps and smart domestic appliances is set to increase.

Companies, including members of Energy UK and the ADE, are already offering services to consumers to help them use electricity flexibly, helping balance the grid while using smart controls to meet consumer needs.

While industrial DSR is already relatively widespread, DSR in homes is still new and to enable the market to grow well and reduce the cost of decarbonisation to consumers, the organisations believe people will need to have confidence through strong protections and the transition to new offers must be inclusive to all.

Charles Wood, Head of New Energy Services and Heat at Energy UK said: “Meeting our climate targets is increasingly going to involve consumers as they adapt to big changes in how they use energy, heat their homes as well as their transport. New services and technologies offer exciting potential benefits but having the right protections in place is essential to developing the customer trust and confidence that will enable a successful transition.

“Energy UK’s growing and diverse membership reflects this rapidly changing market and it is important that both established and new providers continue to meet the needs of their customers.

” Identifying any potential gaps in consumer protection in an evolving market is an important step and while we have not identified any immediate issues, providing the right information to customers – particularly with innovative new services and products – is vital. We will continue to work with consumer and industry representatives to make sure this happens.”

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