The energy demand placed on the national grid changes seasonally – it is higher in winter than in summer. It also changes throughout the day and is much higher between 4pm and 7pm than in the middle of the night. The national grid is built to cope with the highest demand periods – but this means relying more on fossil fuels to balance electricity supply and demand - 'carbon intensity'. If there was a way to ‘smooth out the peak’ – to reduce what was needed from the grid and spread it out over a longer period – that would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and reduce carbon emissions.
Barnsley's Metropolitan Borough Council aims to reduce carbon emissions across the borough and improving the lives of its residents. This includes installing solar panels and air source heat pumps (ASHP) in many of its homes. Solar panels produce electricity which can be used directly in the homes or fed back into the grid. Air source heat pumps provide heating and hot water to homes efficiently, using electricity as an alternative to traditional gas boilers.