Date: March 26, 2018
Author: Jonathan Ainley

KiWi Power Saves Customers Over £8million in TRIAD Charges

On the 22nd of March, National Grid published their much-anticipated TRIAD results (shown in the graph below). These results came as no surprise to KiWi Power as our state-of-the-art platform for monitoring and predicting TRIAD events proved to be both reliable and efficient – ensuring that we managed to hit all 3 TRIAD periods, and by doing so saved our clients over £8million off their electricity bills.

From an energy perspective, the busiest season of the year has come to an end. Even though we’re still experiencing unexpected low temperatures TRIAD season is over as of the 1st of March. Naturally, everyone is wondering how they fared.

For those not familiar with the term, “TRIAD” refers to the three half-hourly settlement periods over winter (November to February) where we see the highest system demand. TRIADs are generally spaced 10 days apart and are used by National Grid (the UK’s Transmission System Operator) to determine the TNUoS (Transmission Use of System) charges for electricity consumers with half-hourly metering.

Every year, like clockwork, large energy users join the “TRIAD Hunting” bandwagon via their electricity suppliers or appointed Demand Response aggregators to reduce their consumption of electricity by either lowering their demand or covering their electricity needs with on-site generation. This has a two-fold effect: first on National Grid’s peak requirements and forecasts; secondly on consumers’ bills since less demand on the transmission system means lower charges for consumers.

First, we need to understand where the main requests for electricity come from. According to a report published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in January this year the main users of electricity in the UK come from the non-domestic sector (62%), with the South East of England having the highest demand (14%). The graph below provides an overview of the electricity demand by region:

As anybody can reasonably presume, there is a correlation between the demand for electricity and adverse weather conditions (i.e. electric heating being used during cold snaps). But this begs the question: how does this look in reality? The following chart demonstrates the Demand Curve from the 1st November 2017 until the 28th of February 2018, versus the average temperature across the country (based on average temperature data from six weather stations: Heathrow, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Glasgow – as published on the BM Reports website):

As demonstrated on the graph above, some of the coldest days of the 2017-8 winter were also the days with the highest system demand. The most obvious example is Monday 11th December where the average temperature across the UK dropped for the first time to 0°C. TRIAD warnings were issued for that day, encouraging participants to turn-down their load or switch to on-site generation at the predicted time of peak demand. Given that demand stayed quite high, this was the first of the seasons’ TRIAD peaks. Similarly, a couple of cold days in January reflected higher system demand; and with the infamous “Beast from the East” hitting our shores at the end of February – that also contributed to some additional work for National Grid.

Every day I see lots of people travelling to and from work, and I often find myself wondering what are actually the busiest working days? Would it be safe to assume it’s Mondays – as the most active days of the week following a weekend break? Or would it be safe to assume that Thursdays are busier as everyone does one last “push” before the weekend? I guess nobody really has the answer to that question, but maybe it’s safe to assume that the daily electricity demand curves can partially answer that question. In the chart below, the days marked in “red” relate to the final TRIAD dates as published by National Grid:

Based on the data, it would appear that on average, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the busiest days of the week – with system demand reaching 45.4GW. Compare that to the least busy day of the week (guess what – it’s Friday!) where the average demand wasn’t higher than 44.8GW. Interestingly enough, the first system peak occurred on a Monday 11th December (48.99GW) which coincided with being the coldest day of the winter.

So how does electricity demand evolve throughout the day? What are the busiest times and seasons for the System Operator? In order to answer this question, we looked at data from March 1st 2017 to 28th February 2018 and looked at the TRIAD dates specifically (November 2017 – February 2018) and non-TRIAD dates (March 2017 – October 2017). Each day is split into 48 half-hourly settlement periods:

As demonstrated on the graph above, the peak demand typically occurs between 16h00 and 18h30 during the Winter, and 17h30 – 20h00 for the rest of the year. This chart also highlights the comparison between the Actual Demand and the Forecasted Electricity Demand – where the difference between them is higher in Winter (which also includes TRIAD runs).

For another year, KiWi Power has reliably demonstrated its ability to predict these peaks and inform our clients so they can take the necessary actions to avoid these charges. Our 100% success rate in predicting and hitting these peaks proves our capability and highlights how we survive the TRIAD season in the most efficient manner possible. Next winter will certainly bring with it new challenges, and KiWi Power is confident that we will be ready once again to deliver significant energy savings to our clients. If you’re interested in learning more about KiWi Power’s TRIAD Avoidance Strategy, please get in touch.