UK electricity grid may need ‘priority access’ system in future

Posted: March 11, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy
Tags: ,

Could UK electricity supply follow the postage model?

This looks more than a little like a warm-up act to the unveiling of the true role of smartmeters, preparing us to be ‘flexible and squeezed’. First or second class electricity? Just tick the box, thank you. That kind of thing.

A senior figure at Ofgem has called for a public debate on how consumers pay for and make use of the UK’s electricity networks, Utility Week reports.

Moves to increase flexibility and squeeze the most out of existing infrastructure could otherwise allow “one group of customers to outbid another group of customers for access”.

“When we consider that capacity may be at a premium – it is increasingly expensive to provide on a marginal basis,” said Ofgem senior partner Andrew Wright, “allowing everyone to charge their vehicles and power their heat pumps without constraint could turn out to be prohibitively expensive for everyone and increasingly difficult to manage on the system.

“In the future, we may need to find new ways of paying for and providing access to the electricity system.”

He said the issue is “contentious” and will need to be approached in a way which “meets society’s expectations of fairness and reliability”.

Wright, who has previously raised fears over the creation of a two-tier energy system, said those who want greater access to the grid in order to use a fast charger for their electric vehicle may need to pay more for it. “Alternatively, people who want to accept some limits on their ability to consume large amounts of electricity when they want may be able to benefit in terms of prices.”

Full story: Utility Week – Grid may need ‘priority access’ system in future

  1. catweazle666 says:

    So the rich will have heat and light on demand and the poor will freeze in the dark.

    Oh yes, that’ll work out well…

  2. ferdberple says:

    priority access = price gouging made possible by limiting supply.

  3. Timo Soren says:

    Brits need to wake up to the fact that a grid that has sufficient stable supply at a reasonable cost makes for good economy and a fatter wallet two ways for the common man.

    They can’t quite seem to realize that the here and now is more important the fairy world of greenies and alarmists in 2101.

  4. AlecM says:

    Ofgem = Office For Great Economic Madness.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Time of use plans are one option, as already on offer in parts of California and some other places.

    ‘Save money by shifting daily use to low-demand times’
    – – –
    Expect the public to be ‘softened up’ to ideas like this as smart metering takes root. Obviously the aim is to choke off peak demand as much as possible.

  6. ivan says:

    This always was the reason for smart meters. You can see it in the design specifications.

    I don’t think that the normal people will be very upset if the green lovvies get charged more for the electricity they use to charge their electric poser cars, they will get very upset if their power is cut because the wind didn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine at night. They might even do what Mac depicted in a Mail cartoon of the mid 2013 (Sorry. I can’t come to bingo tonight. I’m melting down a wind turbine)

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    In the Central Valley of California it can reach 110 F many days in all summer months, and 100 in most of them. 95 F is a cool treat. That is where I grew up…

    The TOD pricing now can charge just a few cents under $ per kWhr in summer mid day peak when AC is most important. I did the math, and it pays to run your own gasoline generator then.

    Folks there are poor enough to be creative on cost savings, so I predict TOD pricing will be met by the whirrr of generators burnig gasoline none too cleanly. Smarter folks will by diesel gesets and run the metrr backwards at peak, especially those with a few solar cellls…

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    110 F is 43.3 C. And it looks like tablet typing typos strike again…

  9. suricat says:

    E.M.Smith says: March 12, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Hi Mr Smith. D’ya think my formula would help?

    Found here:

    Best regards, Ray.

  10. BoyfromTottenham says:

    The only thing that needs priority access on a national electricity grid is stable base load power, generated by large rotating machines that generate huge amounts of 50 Hz electricity. Anything else is a waste of resources, time and money.

  11. When it’s almost impossible to work out which electricity company gives the best deal on long term pricing with a fixed price to electrify, imagine how much confusion will exist when people have no idea how much electricity costs from minute to minute.

    Most people will never look at the meter at the critical time of massive costs (just before a power outage), so it will do almost nothing to stem demand, instead It’s just a formula for a massive scam by the electricity companies as our bills become totally (and intentionally) incomprehensible.

    I’ve refused to have one installed.

  12. oldbrew says:

    PG&E will give customers info on their usage patterns and recommend a deal suited to that. IMO that’s the shape of things to come in the UK.

  13. oldmanK says:

    Quoting extracts from Scottish Sceptic:

    ” which electricity company gives the best deal”. Those are all additional overheads which will be included/added to the price. Possibly this is one case where ‘one size fits all’ is cheapest to the general customer.

    ” people will never look at the meter at the critical time of massive costs (just before a power outage)”. An incentive for outages? Work the numbers – echoes of Enron.

    ” just a formula for a massive scam by the electricity companies as our bills become totally (and intentionally) incomprehensible”. A definite yes. I have experienced that (here). Never a correct working and always to my detriment. There is method in the madness.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Even before smartmeters take over…

    Energy companies ‘ripping off’ millions, ministers say

    Since 2011 the majority of customers on standard variable tariffs had been consistently overcharged by the big six. The amount overcharged had now topped £8bn.

  15. rishrac says:

    Old brew, you’re thinking people might want to stay warm in the winter or brew a spot of tea. They have to pay for those windmills somehow and what better way than overcharging people.
    The sooner this client (climate)story ends, the better. They’ve already done a great deal of damage.
    They could’ve have said, if you need energy to do things you’re on your own. By the way don’t use any kind of fossil fuels.

  16. Bitter&twisted says:

    Refuse to have one of these “robot robbers” (smart!!! meters) fitted.
    If enough don’t accept this madness, then the scam will fold.

    Power to the People!

  17. oldbrew says:

    Don’t be surprised if non-adopters end up with higher charges one way or another e.g. less or no access to cheaper rate offers, higher standing charges, etc.

    They will just claim it costs money to come and read your meter.

  18. Doug Kleen says:

    isnt the North Sea filled with natural gas, doesnt the UK have lots of coal? clean burning coal plants now exist and natural gas is also very clean. But you know… social justice/global warming demands we use wind and solar and screw the millions of birds killed every year.

  19. Ian says:

    Wishful thinking, B&T. I have two neighbours who have had one fitted, simply because it was “free”. How have they used them? Not at all. As soon as the novelty wore off, the HMI was put in a drawer and forgotten. I wonder if they’ll have issues when (if) they switch, though. Didn’t think of that, I’m sure.

    If that experience is typical, the battle against smart meters is already lost.

  20. Harry Passfield says:

    ‘Save money by shifting daily use to low-demand times’

    And then the low demand times become high demand times – and no one will know what the best times are.