Electric Demand Flexibility: Individuals Taking Center Stage

By ENGIE - 15 February 2024 - 15:11

From delaying the recharge of your electric vehicle to momentarily lowering your heating by one degree, we can all play a part, in our own way, in relieving and greening the electrical system while also lowering our bills. ENGIE is developing offers to encourage and facilitate these actions. 


Flexibility extends to electricity demand, involving the ability to shift consumption outside peak periods when electricity is cheaper and less carbon intensive. Traditionally, this was mainly a concern for large industrial players who reduced consumption during grid stress (known as load shedding). However, individual customers are also becoming major contributors, by reducing and reshuffling electricity consumption in their homes. ENGIE has devised tools to harness this potential. 


Behavioral Flexibility: Rewarding Consumers Who Play Along 

The Group has introduced solutions like Ecodéfi+ in France, rewarding customers for reducing their electricity consumption at specific times. During a period of extreme cold, individuals are informed of a personalized consumption threshold for the following day, which must not be exceeded during a given period. If they stay below it, they’re rewarded with a bonus of up to four euros. A similar offer, Reduce & Reward, has been launched by ENGIE in Australia. 


Managed Flexibility: Programming Electricity Consumption at Opportune Moments 

Managed flexibility involves automatically optimizing peak periods based on the needs of the electrical system. ENGIE aims to mainstream these solutions in the coming years, in conjunction with the widespread electrification of customers adopting new connected devices: electric vehicles, charging stations, electric radiators, heat pumps, air conditioning, solar self-consumption batteries, etc. 


“We currently manage numerous electric radiators in France and domestic batteries in Australia, as well as electric vehicle charging in Belgium and the Netherlands. This represents just over 100 megawatts of installed power. We aim to scale up to the gigawatt level in the coming years,” says Florence Fouquet, Managing Director of One Retail at ENGIE. 


A Win-Win Approach 

An example? In France, the free Mon Pilotage Elec service allows users to program their electric heating while helping to balance the electrical system. Slightly lowering the temperature of radiators, even for a few minutes, has a significant effect when carried out across thousands of households. 

Similarly, in Belgium, the Drive offer allows electric vehicle owners to recharge at a preferential rate during the night. ENGIE triggers charging at the best time during the night, especially when there is an excess of renewable electricity production. 


In summary, making demand flexible means shifting consumption to the optimal time when electricity is cheaper and less carbon intensive. Which also leads to savings on our customers’ electricity bills!