Manufacturers get rewarded for ‘energy flexibility’

  • Tuesday, August 1, 2023
  • Posted By The Growth Company
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With electricity prices predicted to stay above pre-pandemic levels long into the future, manufacturers can take advantage of emerging opportunities to earn revenue by helping to balance the grid.

The latest research into the future of power prices by energy experts Cornwall Insight suggests pre-2022 costs are unlikely to return until the late 2030s at the earliest, despite prices coming down since the peak of the energy crisis last year.

Our specialist advisors have worked with businesses to help them reduce their reliance on the grid by improving energy efficiency or investing in on-site generation.

Examples include Bridgewater Laminates, a joinery business based in Worsley. In addition to improving the efficiency of its manufacturing process, our advisors helped the business to make over £2,500 in annually recurring energy savings.

Speaking to the Hub following this support, Aiden Berry, Managing Director, commented:

“From cutting costs in energy usage to improving processes and efficiencies within our day to day work the Hub has helped Bridgewater develop into a profit-making organisation during one of the toughest periods any business has had to face in recent times.”

One increasingly popular way of reducing costs, especially for larger energy users like manufacturers, is to take part in ‘demand response’ schemes.

By voluntarily shifting power consumption when demand on the grid is high, businesses can help the network to balance supply and demand. This minimises the costs of managing the grid and helps to use intermittent clean energy sources like wind more efficiently – a service network operators are willing to pay for.

Last winter, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) launched the largest of ‘energy flexibility’ schemes to-date, offering over a million energy consumers small financial incentives in return for reducing their demand for a limited time.

Such schemes are expected to become increasingly lucrative for larger energy users. The North West’s regional network operator Electricity North West already runs its own Flexible Service for businesses, and National Grid ESO is looking to expand its scheme to more industrial users this winter.

GC Business Growth Hub was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2021, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. Eligibility criteria was applied. The 2014-2021 ERDF  fund was allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government was the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which was one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, visit European Regional Development Fund: Documents and Guidance - GOV.UK (

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