Helping reduce energy costs

Source: PSE Aug/Sep 17

Joseph Ernst-Herman, director of utilities and fuels at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), discusses the launch of the new Demand Side Response (DSR) framework to help the public sector reduce energy costs.

With public sector organisations collectively taking up around 10% of the total energy use in the UK each year, getting the best deal on their energy bills and helping to reduce their carbon footprint is a big priority. 

DSR schemes provide UK public sector organisations, like councils and hospitals, with the tools they need to manage their energy use in an intelligent way. Such schemes enable public bodies to lower or shift their electricity use at peak times in response to external market signals, delivering cost benefits. This can be achieved either through switching off non-essential load such as lighting, air conditioning, heating and chillers, or shifting demand by utilising existing back-up generation. Public sector bodies that take up this opportunity can receive a payment for being on standby or when reacting to balancing requirements. 

Why take part in DSR schemes? 

There are a number of benefits for public sector bodies participating in DSR schemes. It can help them to make significant savings and reduce overall energy bills by utilising less electricity from the National Grid during the most expensive times. It also offers the opportunity to supply excess energy from additional energy sources, such as spare generators, solar panels or wind turbines, back into the National Grid to generate revenue. 

This money can then be put back into essential services such as patient care, frontline policing or hiring social workers. In addition, utilising DSR can reduce the public sector’s carbon footprint by helping them to move on to clean, renewable forms of energy and to manage their energy consumption. 

How does the CCS framework help? 

The new CCS Demand Side Response framework has been designed to help public sector organisations to access these schemes without needing to run a full OJEU procurement. Organisations simply need to identify their requirements for the scheme, present these to the market and award a contract, all of which reduces timescales. 

The suppliers on this framework act as an ‘aggregator’ so that smaller sites can access DSR schemes. The suppliers will carry out a site assessment to determine if your site is suitable and advise on what schemes are appropriate for you to participate in. 

The framework is simple to use, with expert procurement advice available where required. It also makes it easy to identify revenue and cashable savings with an approved benefits methodology. 

The CCS framework launched in June and will run for a period of three years, with the option to extend for a further 12 months.


To find out more about the new framework and how it could help your organisation, visit:



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