The consumer role in the energy market is changing. We have access to more real-time information about our energy use and the associated costs. This allows us to make better choices to reduce bills. The introduction of multiple pricing mechanisms will offer financial incentives to encourage us to shift our usage to periods when overall demand is low, to reduce system stress. Many consumers have become prosumers, also generating energy via solar panels. Interconnectable smart appliances and apps are creating smart homes that we can interface with and control.
The real revolution will come from unlocking consumer flexibility. Some of our energy use is not essential, or non-time- critical, and so we can be flexible about it. We could get paid for that flexibility by selling it to grid operators and those balancing supply and demand. They could then choose to move it in time, or not supply it at all, to help reduce periods of stress on the system. Given that a proportion of our bills are to pay for the system, helping reduce stress will lower our bills. USEF makes these things possible by delivering the market, tools and rules required to commoditise and trade energy flexibility. It also specifies the role of an Aggregator, who would buy flexibility from multiple consumers and collate enough if it to offer as solutions for system stress.