What are TRIADs? | Benefits of TRIAD

TRIADs, what are they?

National Grid introduced the TRIAD (Transmission Network Use of System) system charge in an effort to reduce high peaks and system stress during the winter months. Large industrial users are able to dramatically reduce energy bills by avoiding consumption during peak periods.

A TRIAD can be defined as the three half hour periods of highest demand on the GB electricity transmission system during the TRIAD season November through to February. These three periods are separated by at least ten clear days to avoid all three potentially falling in consecutive hours.

TRIADs are decided using the latest available settlement data and dates tend to be confirmed towards the end of March.

When are TRIADs most likely to occur?

TRIADS tend to occur from between 4.30pm – 6.30pm, Monday to Friday when it is typical for demand to be at its highest. The key drivers that effect the likelihood of a TRIAD are:

  • Domestic and Industrial demand – The peak demand can largely be attributed to an overlap of industry activity and people arriving home between 5.00-6.00pm. TRIADs rarely occur on Fridays due to industries closing earlier.
  • Temperature / Weather – During cold snaps the chance of TRIAD is significantly higher due to resulting increase of demand.
  • Street Lighting – The increasing hours of daylight in February reduces the overlap of turning on the lights and the industry / domestic demand. This also partially explains why TRIADs tend to be less frequent in February.

Benefits of the TRIAD system

Not only does the system bring benefits to large consumers of electricity but also to Britain as a whole.

It is one of the most efficient solutions that reduces peak demand without building expensive infrastructure that will ultimately cost more to the end user through energy bills.

Should a business have the infrastructure to reduce consumption and have a G59 agreement in place that allows electricity to be exported back to the grid during potential TRIAD periods, this can dramatically reduce energy bills and even create revenue from generator assets. As an approximate estimation, a business can expect to receive around £50,000 per MW.

Can my business participate?

TRIADs will only affect businesses that have meters that measure demand on a HH basis. Should a customer avoid consuming electricity during the three peak periods will not pay the TNUoS for the entire financial year.

Predicting TRIADs

The timings of TRIADs are becoming ever more challenging to predict. With more and more businesses responding to TRIAD calls, the typical 4.30pm – 6.30pm is changing. During the course of the current season, on occasion the peak demand has been delayed until 7.00pm – 7.30pm due to the level of response from businesses.

To combat this increasingly unpredictable nature, Nationwide Utilities have developed a notification system that is emailed out to businesses on days of potential TRIADs. As there are typically 20 – 25 TRIAD warnings per season, the cost of running a generator can be increasingly expensive. To minimise both generator run times and the consequential consumption of fuel, Nationwide Utilities analyse the forecasted UK demand and give a recommendation as to the chance of TRIAD.

For more information on how Nationwide Utilities can assist with TRIAD avoidance, please send us a message or contact us on 0800 862 0861

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