Delta-ee is excited to be taking part in a ground-breaking innovation project for Wales & West Utilities and Western Power Distribution. The Flexible Residential Energy Demand Optimisation and Management (FREEDOM) project has overseen the installation of 75 hybrid air source heat pumps, in combination with hybrid control panels in homes in South Wales.
The project, managed by PassivSystems, is the largest-scale demonstration trial of hybrid heating systems ever undertaken in the UK. The ultimate aim is to influence the course of UK heat policy. In particular the study will:
- Examine the ability of the hybrid heat pump to switch between gas and electric load to provide fuel arbitrage and highly flexible demand response services.
- Gain insights into the means of balancing the interests of the consumer, supplier, DNO and TSO when optimising hybrid operation and performance.
- Demonstrate the consumer, network, carbon and energy system benefits.
Progress - customer engagement is high
As the winter heating system approaches, 75 systems have been successfully installed and the business end of the project is really underway. The latest customer survey revealed that participants are engaged with the trial, and excited about hybrids, with customers overwhelmingly positive about the systems they have had installed.
The major attraction for a hybrid system appears two-fold, running cost savings (which are always a key customer priority and the use of two fuels which could be down to our energy-savvy participants looking to future proof their supply to get the best energy deals.
Demand response also has high appeal!
Positively we also asked customers about demand response, and, as we found in our most recent research under the HIS customer panel, customers are very open to demand response, and seem to find it very encouraging. Some 50% of our trial participants, said they had a good understanding of demand response, despite the complexity of the concept, and lack of any residential UK market at present.
Delta-ee will continue to be tracking customer attitudes towards the hybrid heating system over the coming winter months, and look forward to seeing if customer experience will match the high customer expectations, before we go on to examine potential business models in this space.
To find out more detail about the FREEDOM Project please contact [email protected]