Your DSR Questions: Answered

Ben Spry: DSR can be a solution for firms of all sizes

The Energyst’s DSR Event is an opportunity to acknowledge the growing interest in demand-side response (DSR) as part of a holistic energy management strategy. But there are still questions around DSR solutions and their benefits.

Ben Spry, Head of Risk Management Service at Energy HQ, npower Business Solutions, will be at the event tomorrow (13 September), taking part in our panel session Follow the money: Where’s it going, how can you access best value? He’ll also be on the show floor to help answer your most pressing DSR questions afterwards.

In the meantime, we wanted to take the time to catch-up with him to ask some of the most common questions he’s been asked by business energy users about DSR.

  1. Is it true you need to be a large business to make use of DSR?

Not at all. DSR can be a solution for all businesses. If you work with the right supplier or aggregator, they can identify the right DSR opportunities for you. Taking your site data, they’ll be able to highlight which DSR solutions would be the most appropriate for your organisation and what you can do to achieve the benefits these could deliver.

  1. Do businesses have to embrace DSR across all sites?

No, that’s not the case. We recommend starting with one site which you know well. A site with significant consumption over the winter peak periods will allow for maximum cost savings and improve the payback period should investment be required. Any locations with existing generation assets can provide quick returns, and through wholesale market access, you get additional value for any Triad avoidance activity you may be undertaking on a site-by-site basis.

  1. Surely the cost of setting up DSR outweighs the benefits?

If set up and managed correctly, then no – not at all. The benefits of DSR are many and varied. Money talks and with benefits of between £50k-£120k per megawatt, the business case can be very compelling. What’s more, DSR will help you become more competitive as a business and you can benefit from improved site resilience with the regular use of any asset at site.

  1. Is DSR is difficult to manage? Don’t you have to work with numerous different parties?

Some businesses work with more than one agent – for example, an aggregator and a supplier – and they may each have different and sometimes competing agendas. But it’s also possible to work with just one party. For example, we’re both a supplier and aggregator. We work with businesses from the start of their journey to help them understand and assess the opportunities available, and ensure there’s no conflict of interest, such as between supply volume tolerances and the volume saved by participating in DSR.

To find out more about DSR, come and talk to Ben at the show or contact the Energy HQ team at or 0800 994 9382.

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