Using flexibility services to keep costs down, manage uncertainty and speed up connections

Participate in flexibility tenders

As more people opt for low-carbon, electric alternatives, the demand on the electricity network continues to rise.

Through data, forecasting and cross-sector coordination, UK Power Networks’ DSO is working to maximise the use of flexibility as a smart, cost-effective solution to this rising demand, helping to enable the transition to Net Zero at a faster pace and lower cost for all.

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What is flexibility?

Flexibility is the capability of energy resources, such as generators, batteries and consumers, to change their behaviour.

This behaviour change can help to reduce the pressure on the grid at certain times, such as during the evening (traditionally when demand for electricity is highest) or when very windy or sunny (when generation is highest). A good example would be charging an electric vehicle overnight rather than during evening peak.

As the DSO for UK Power Networks, we pay flexibility providers to help manage the distribution network in London, the South East and East of England. Other DSOs do the same in their areas, whilst the UK’s Energy System Operator (ESO) procures flexibility to manage national and transmission network needs.

Key features

We are proud to offer the most inclusive flex procurement in Britain and we are continuing to simplify the participation process.

Competitive fee for flexibility

Guaranteed revenues

Combine with other flex programmes

Supporting decarbonisation by deferring the need for new network infrastructure

Only 10kW+ capacity required per location

Range of baselining approaches

Open to both energy efficiency providers and flexible asset operators

Different ways you can take part

There are three different ways you can offer and deliver flex​ibility. You can choose the type of service that suits you.

Long term

We hold bi-annual long-term tenders for two different types of flexibility services – agreed for a period of up to 2.5 years.

Peak reduction

Flexibility providers commit to reduce their highest demand peaks during pre-contracted windows​.

Scheduled availability + operational utilisation

Flexibility providers commit to being available during set contracted windows, but actual utilisation is confirmed the day before.

Day ahead

From April 2024, we will be holding regular day-ahead auctions. This is the first of its kind to be offered in the UK.

Scheduled utilisation

Flexibility providers can enter an auction to deliver flexibility at a day’s notice.

These products are standard across Great Britain and replace our previous procurement of Sustain, Secure and Dynamic.

Read more about products

Who can take part?

Flexibility Services is technology agnostic. If you can change your electricity usage pattern to align with our network needs, then you can take part.


You just need to meet a few requirements:

  • Your asset(s) needs to be within one of our competition locations. We will advertise our needs on the independent market platform Localflex. Please join our mailing list to find out when our next tender goes live.
  • To contract with us directly, you either need to be a registered company or sign up with a third party (see point 3 below).
  • You need to be able to offer at least 10kW of flexibility. This can be as a single asset or aggregated by forming a flexible unit of more than 1 asset, as long as the assets are in the same zone.
  • If you don’t have 10kW to offer, or are a domestic customer who can change your consumption behaviour, you can still take part via a third party.

Our Autumn 2023 tender was for 850MW of flexibility across 452 zones. Opportunities are available throughout the year to providers who can:


Reduce consumption or increase generation at times of peak demand

Increase consumption or reduce generation at times of excess renewable generation

Existing or planned solutions

All technologies welcome

Read our Flexibility Dispatches report below for some examples. Please note, you will need to be a registered user of our Open Data Portal and be signed in to view the dataset.

Read Flexibility Dispatches report

How much revenue can I earn?

The amount you can earn through flexibility depends on how much flexible capacity you can offer and what zone it is in.

In the past, we have offered up to £600/MWh, but this varies by location. For each tender we produce a ‘Competition Data’ file, this is a spreadsheet setting out the zone requirements:

  • Zone name
  • Maximum voltage level of the connection
  • Capacity need
  • Indication of price

In general, Providers submit a volume and price to deliver flexibility for a given period. If accepted, then the provider will be paid the volume x price x period duration. For example, 2MW x £100/MWh x 1 hour = £200.

In practice, there are different payment units for different types of services such as an availability payment for the service to be on standby and a utilisation payment for service activation.

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How does UK Power Networks assess network needs?

We publish our forecasted future needs in our Distribution Network Options Assessment (DNOA).

The DNOA is the framework that will help us prioritise flexibility and deliver a reduction of up to £410 million in load-related expenditure during our current regulatory period. The DNOA suite of documents provides transparency to the industry on the decisions we are taking to meet the future capacity needs across our South East, London and East of England regions over the next few years.

As part of the annual DNOA process, we publish two types of documents. Firstly, the methodology document which explains the process and then three further packs of documents containing the results, one for each licence area.

View the DNOA

How to take part


  1. Pre-qualify

    Check out details of our requirements on our Tender Hub.

  2. Submit prices

    Pre-qualified parties are then invited to submit pricing. UK Power Networks will assess pricing and award the most cost-effective contracts.

  3. Onboard

    We’ll help you get everything set up and take you through some final tests before delivery.

Participate in flexibility tenders

Detailed information on the tender process

You can find detailed information on how to take part and an overview of our requirements below.

If you are a business considering participating through your energy supplier or another flexibility service provider, you may be interested in the Flex Assure code of conduct. This document sets out what you can expect from your partner in terms of information, contracts and technical due diligence.

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How to take part

View opportunities

Check out details of our requirements in our Tender Hub or view available competitions directly on the Localflex map via our partner <a href="https://dso.ukpowernetworks.co.uk>EPEX SPOT</a>. If you’d like to be notified of our live competitions, sign up to our flexibility mailing list.

Register for a Localflex account

If you have an asset within one of the competition zones, you will need to register here for an account in order to participate.

Onboarding and asset information

Once you are registered, you will be onboarded as a company. Once this is complete, you can then upload your asset information and submit your offers. We will assess pricing and award the most cost-effective contracts.

You're all set!

Congratulations! You’re ready to trade. You can group assets into ‘portfolios’ and create your flexibility offers.

Data and information

Flexibility datasets

Explore our Resource Centre to view more flexibility datasets and learn more about our plans for the DSO, or simply click below.

View all flexibility datasets Learn more about the DSO


Flexibility tender data

Our flexibility tender data provides information on eligible postcodes, expected utilisation rates and guide prices, to support Flex Providers in evaluating participation in a flex tender. 

We have consolidated data on each flexibility competition, previously in two places into one. This dataset has two key machine-readable tabs – providing eligibility by postcode and guidance on expected revenue, making it easier for Flex Providers with large numbers of assets to automatically evaluate their participation, without manual data-reformatting and matching. To support all our flex providers, we have also retained the tabs which present the information in a more user-friendly way.

View data

Flexibility Dispatches

The Flexibility Dispatches dataset details flexibility service dispatches issued by UK Power Networks. Users can search back to 1 April 2023 and new dispatches are added monthly. This dataset gives the user the latest information on provision of flexibility on our network, providing insight and transparency to market participants.

Each row includes the timing, location, product, capacity, technology, and provider for our growing volume of flexibility dispatches. The dataset can be downloaded or incorporated into the user’s interface via API.

View data

Embedded Capacity Registers

The Embedded Capacity Register (ECR), lists all generation, storage and flexible demand resources where the installed generation capacity, export capacity or the import capacity is greater than 50kW.  

The information is split out into two reports 50kW to 1MW and >1MW and can be found on our Open Data Portal within the Data Catalogue, simply use the search bar to find the documents. Please note, you will need to be a registered user of our Open Data Portal and be signed in to view the datasets. 

View data
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Got a question?

If you have any further questions or need help, please do contact our dedicated team at flexibility@ukpowernetworks.co.uk

For news and updates, join our mailing list or follow us on Linkedin

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Tender Hub

Could you be a flexibility provider?

The DSO is looking to recruit flexible providers who have solutions ready to connect to the grid and able to either meet or reduce demand on the network. Find out more and apply in our Tender Hub.

View Tender Hub
Upcoming events

Your chance to learn more

Our team holds numerous events from breakfast briefings to conferences – your opportunity to make your voice heard and learn more about our service.

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