SysMech win UK Government BEIS Funding for Zen Smart Energy Framework


UK Government Funding for Zen Smart Energy

Systems Mechanics (SysMech) lead a consortium with partners and carbonTRACK winning UK Government funding to develop an Interoperable Demand Side Response solution using the Zen Smart Energy Framework, to allow consumers to remotely increase or decrease their energy use to take advantage of when energy is cheaper, or more renewables are on the grid.

Funding for the project is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the IDSR Programme and made available from the UK government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), which looks to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies and systems.

With electricity demand rising due to electrification of transport, heat and industrial processes, flexibility from consumers will become increasingly important, especially against the backdrop of recent increases in energy prices seen across the world. The UK Government’s ‘Transitioning to a net zero energy system – Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan 2021’ sets out a suite of policies to enable flexibility from consumers known as “Demand Side Response” (DSR). Through the increasing uptake of Energy Smart Appliances (ESAs) by consumers it will be easier to request changes in consumption patterns to support flexibility in the electricity network. 

As has been seen during the winter of 2022 energy providers in the UK have been rewarding businesses and homes for shifting their electricity consumption at peak times. It is estimated that in the UK this approach can provide at least 2 gigawatts of power – enough to power one million homes. By opting in to participate in DSR events, homes and businesses can offer flexibility in consumption and be rewarded or benefit from lower prices . This not only benefits consumers financially, but crucially helps reduce the overall cost of decarbonisation and improves energy security through balancing the load on the electricity grid during times of high demand or when there is surplus renewable energy.

The SysMech lead consortium with partners and carbonTRACK will design and develop an “Interoperable Demand Side Response” (IDSR) solution, to enable consumers to flexibly alter their energy usage by opting in to DSR events via an App. The interoperability between the Electricity system, network operators and consumers homes or businesses is fully automated by the IDSR software, with the ability for consumers to over-ride participation if they wish.

Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) will fulfil a technical oversight and advisory role for the project and provide dissemination and research support as well as domain expertise. ESC and SysMech have previously partnered to develop the Living Lab 2.0, which is also based on the Zen Smart platform

The initial project scope will meet the objectives of BEIS IDSR Stream 1 to demonstrate DSR operations using private Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers in real world settings, integrating Energy Smart Appliances (ESAs), Customer Energy Manager (CEM) and Demand Side Response Service Provider (DSRSP) platforms.

SysMech’s cloud-based Zen Smart framework will provide a CEM for automated smart energy grid flexibility operations (allowing choice of DSRSP to consumers and their ESA’s), initially providing interoperability for carbonTRACK’s DSRSP and ESA platforms via standard interfaces according to PAS 1878 and the principles of PAS 1879 technical frameworks. By standardising the interfaces, the government is seeking to accelerate the technical interoperability so that IDSR solutions can be rolled out flexibly and at scale.


  Full details on GOV.UK Website 


See related article by Energy Tech Review   PDF