Understanding flexible services

Understanding flexible services

Find out more about flexible services including the benefits, how to take part, our procurement process, FAQs and download useful guides and documents from our library below.

When the demand for electricity in an area is greater than the amount that we are capable of providing, we can utilise Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) to alleviate constraints and ensure a safe and reliable supply of energy. DERs include generators, electricity storage and consumers connected to our network who can generate more or consume less when we ask them to, and receive payment from Electricity North West in return. There are many different factors that can lead to network constraints such as large televised events, electric heating in winter and the uptake in Low Carbon Technologies including electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar panels. DERs can also be used to manage planned outages or disruptive failures, rather than traditional reinforcement. 

The benefits of flexible services

For the UK to meet it’s decarbonisation targets, we’re expecting to see a huge uptake in Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs) such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar panels, leading to more demand being placed on our network. Going down the traditional reinforcement route to meet this demand can be extremely costly, time consuming and disruptive as we upgrade assets across our region causing road closures and supply interruptions. Flexible services are a cheaper and faster way of balancing supply and demand on the network as they allow us to utilise our existing assets to make the most out of the capacity we already have, and the money we save on reinforcement is passed back to the customer through cheaper energy bills. By not having to install these large assets we can also help to reduce our C0emissions and support community groups and local businesses that are utilising LCTs to get involved within their local energy markets.

Providing flexible services

You could provide flexible services to the network and receive payment in return if:

  • You're an existing metered customer or are interested in building a new flexible asset within an area we have a requirement;
  • Capable of adjusting how much electricity you consume or generate;
  • And can provide a minimum of 50kW of flexible capacity either individually or via an aggregator (aggregators combine load from multiple customers to provide flexible services).

To take part in our flexibility tenders please follow the steps below:

  1. Register onto the Dynamic Purchasing System via Piclo
  2. Register and upload your assets via Piclo
  3. Complete our Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ)
  4. Confirm participation or withdraw from competition on Piclo

Alternatively, you can register your asset(s) here and we will contact you as soon as we have a requirement in your area.


Document library

Flex Assure

A voluntary code of conduct scheme offering business energy users assurance of the service they can expect to receive from flexible service providers.

Find out more

Frequently asked questions