Greener Grid Payments – the results are in!

April, 2024

Passiv Greener Grid Payments was launched in November 2023 as a first-of-its kind Demand Side Response (DSR) service, allowing heat pump owners to get paid for using less power at peak times. As part of Greener Grid Payments, the Passiv controls automatically respond to signals based on the needs of the wider electricity network, reducing heat pump demand while using smart preheating to make sure homes don’t noticeably cool down.

The first season of Greener Grid Payments came to an end in April 2024 and has been hugely successful. The Passiv controls consistently delivered significant demand reductions at peak times by optimising heat pumps to carefully preheat a home and then minimise demand during events. Greener Grid Payments was well received by those taking part and, when surveyed, all participants indicated that they would take part again in the future.

Passiv Greener Grid Payments is part of the National Grid Electricity System Operator’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). So far, almost all of the domestic flexibility provided as part of the DFS has relied on manual intervention. For example, participants might turn off their fridge for a couple of hours or use the washing machine later in the day. Passiv UK is the first registered DFS provider to offer an automated heat pump service to its customers.

Over 13 events, the Passiv controls optimised heat pumps to successfully reduce electricity demand in households throughout the country. Householder comfort was prioritised during each event, ensuring that homes were kept warm and cosy. When surveyed, 100% of respondents agreed that there was no noticeable impact on their comfort during events.

For domestic DSR to be popular with the public and deliver meaningful demand reductions, it has to be easy to take part in. Most DFS providers require customers to opt-in to each event and then to manually reduce electricity consumption within the home. This creates a significant barrier to entry, particularly when the reward for taking part in each individual event is relatively small. One of the largest DFS providers found that last year, less than a quarter of those signed up to its service participated in more than 11 events (out of a total of 13 events).  As an automated DFS provider, Greener Grid Payments participants were not required to opt-in to each event. All heat pump demand reduction was delivered automatically and all participants took part in every event. 100% of survey respondents agreed that signing up was quick and easy, and taking part in events was a simple process.

Across each event, Greener Grid Payments averaged a demand reduction of 0.75kW per household, around 90% higher than is achieved with manual intervention. If this was scaled up to 600,000 heat pumps (the number of annual installations targeted by the UK government by 2028), automated heat pump flexibility could reduce peak demand by 450MW – about the same amount of electricity produced by a gas power station! Unlike relying on manual intervention, automated DSR is reliable and efficient. When the amount being paid by National Grid for DFS participation dropped towards the end of the service, Greener Grid Payments continued to deliver the same level of kWh reductions as earlier events that paid five times the amount.

Top earning participants made over £30 this year as a result of Greener Grid Payments. The amount paid was impacted by the lack of events and the very low payments offered by National Grid in the later months. Had this year included the same number of events and the minimum payment of £3/kWh as last year, then participants would have made up to £100!

With the increasing adoption of heat pumps, Greener Grid Payments has the potential to play a critical role in maintaining the stability of the UK’s energy system. Ofgem has estimated that low-carbon technologies will need to provide up to 60GW of flexibility by 2050. The automation of electric heating systems can provide reliable and easily dispatchable DSR at scale for all network operators and suppliers and play an invaluable role in securing our energy system.

Greener Grid Payments will be back next winter when we look forward to even more Passiv customers being paid for using their heat pump!

To find out more about Passiv Greener Grid Payments, email: