Capgemini Invent with National Grid


Sustainability Award

MCA Awards Finalist 2024In the summer of 2022, facing unprecedented turmoil and volatility in energy markets in Europe and beyond, the Electricity System Operator (ESO) for Great Britain needed to ensure it had a capacity in its operational toolbox to ensure resilience and help manage energy supply for the 2022/23 winter.

The Capgemini response? To scale what was then a local demand-flexibility pilot into a national service – and do it fast.

We ran a significant number of industry engagement sessions to de-risk the solution and gain input – drawing on a working group that included regulator Ofgem, energy providers, the extended supply chain, the national smart meter network, academia, government and consumer groups.

Scaled and launched in just four months, and operating between November 2022 and March 2023, the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) incentivised businesses and consumers to reduce electricity consumption at times of high demand during winter months by making it advantageous to switch use of domestic appliances or industrial equipment to off-peak times when demand was lower.

Design principles were rapidly developed and agreed, then put into practice using an agile project management process built for rapid iteration and testing while maintaining buy-in from a wide stakeholder group. Systems and governance processes were built from the ground up and a set of data tools was scoped, designed, built, tested and launched in four weeks. A total of 12 internal ESO teams were readied and upskilled to deliver the new service.

The service was launched live and on time, reaching 1.6 million households and businesses who engaged via 31 individual energy providers. It delivered over 3GWh of demand reduction – enough to power over 200,000 homes for a year. The level of media engagement achieved was unusually high, with widespread national and international news coverage that boosted ESO’s reputation as a world-leading system operator.

After the project inception, Capgemini continued to manage internal teams and providers through the early life of the DFS, achieving continuous improvement through operation while reporting on progress to senior ESO leaders and regulators. Further actions included a consumer evaluation survey of 23,500 households to assess how to improve DPS design. Webinars to support future editions of the DFS were attended by over 600 stakeholders.

The DFS also enabled ESO to avoid additional fossil-fuelled power generation – and associated CO2 emissions – to meet peak demand and ensure a secure, in-balance GB power system.
We launched an expanded service in October 2023, creating an enduring tool in our energy sector and an important next step towards a demand-side response that will help achieve the long-term target of creating a net-zero grid, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 (clean energy) and 13 (climate action).

View the Capgemini Invent profile in the MCA Members Directory.