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General Load Customers

A comprehensive customer recruitment programme led by British Gas allowed us to collect and analyse data from thousands of GB electricity consumers. The majority of customers had smart meters installed which provided accurate data every 30 minutes.

What we wanted to find out

The uptake by customers of new low carbon loads is requiring distribution network operators to re-evaluate how they design and operate local electricity networks. The data collected from customers taking part in this, the control group monitoring trial has been used to create an up-to-date set of customer load profiles and recommendations which will inform future industry design and planning standards for all UK electricity network operators.

Key Facts and Figures

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What we learned

We collected data from thousands of GB domestic and SME electricity users, through a range of enhanced monitoring and metering arrangements. The data has been used to create an up-to-date set of new profiles which will inform the industry’s understanding of electricity load profiles across a range of different customer groups and types.

Specifically from this trial we have been able to conclude;

  • Regular domestic customers contribute less to system peak demand than was previously assumed. We are recommending a new design assumption of 0.9kW per customer (a 42% reduction)
  • We observed a significant level of naturally occuring diversity in energy practices from home to home and from day to day within those home. The majority of domestic customers appear to be inherently flexible.
  • There has been little research into how small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can contribute to network load or their ability to flex their electricity usage; this project generated important new data and insights into SME energy practices.
  • SME owners showed significant reluctance to flex their electricity use and disrupt their business activities. The industry will need to develop new, potentially bespoke, methods in order to engage with this particular customer group.

For a summary of findings from our trials with domestic and SME customers, please visit our conclusions page. Some of the key learning documents from our trials with solar PV users are listed below; further analysis and project outputs can be accessed using the advanced search function on our project library. For information on how to obtain the original data collected during this trial for further research and analysis please visit the project data page.



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