The National Grid has revealed that it is launching a new smart grid programme in the UK that will help reduce commercial and industrial energy use during peak demand.

Under the programme, facility owners will be paid to lower consumption during times of peak demand. National Grid will implement new technology that will monitor and automate the process ensuring minimal impact on companies’ operations.

Technology implemented by Honeywell and Sor Generation will help those companies involved in the scheme identify, implement and automate short-term changes to heating, lighting and other building systems to drop consumption.

Any resulting energy saved from the short-term reduction will then be provided to the National Grid in order to bolster its Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR). STOR helps ensure grid stability by compensating for spikes in consumption.

The scheme will help the National Grid assess automated demand response (ADR) ability to reduce pressure on the system rather than asking customers to switch over to back-up diesel generators. National Grid hopes that the scheme will ensure a better balance of supply and demand while also reducing carbon emissions.

“The technology required to avoid a megawatt of consumption costs a fraction of that needed to pump out an additional megawatt,” said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. “From a cost-benefit standpoint, ADR is the most prudent option for reducing energy use and is the most clean, sustainable path to energy reliability.”

In addition, the companies claim that the associated hardware and software installed as part of the scheme will help each organisation better manage its electricity use, further reducing energy expenditure and associated carbon emissions.