First, the good news. Peak UK electricity consumption is falling year-on-year.
This is for two main reasons:
· Appliances are becoming more efficient
· Industry and some commercial users are becoming more adept at managing their demand, particularly time-of-use.
So, what’s the bad news?
· Domestic demand is becoming more peaky because consumers are not motivated to manage it.
· Increases in demand will increasingly be under the control of domestic consumers, as EV’s and heat pumps are rolled out.
Unless something changes, future demand will become both bigger and more peaky, as unmotivated domestic consumers use more electricity.
This is a behavioural issue as much as a technical one.
The work to change behavioural patterns needs to happen before the mass take-up of new appliances, not after.
We are not helped in this by the almost complete absence of domestic time-of-use tariffs, which will need to become near-universal by the time EV’s and heat pumps achieve significant market penetration.
Domestic behaviour change takes time, we need to start now.