Meeting peak demand with micro-CHP

Posted on 12th September 2013 by Alex Heys

Peak demand is a key issue facing the UK energy industry. Peak demand is between about 4pm and 7pm, when most energy is used in the home. It’s basically a big spike in demand which needs to be met if everyone, all at the same time, is going to be able to turn their TV on and cook dinner.

To meet peak demand, more electricity needs to be generated at that time. Currently, this means that lots of coal-fired power stations, which can be turned off and on quickly, switch on to help.  But, of course, this strategy is out of sync with the need to reduce emissions – because coal-fired power stations produce more emissions than gas or nuclear.


Reducing peak demand is pretty tricky. In the future, it may be that government forces energy companies to charge more for energy used during this period. That would, theoretically, stop some people using energy during times of peak demand, because it would become more expensive. But, fairly obviously, that would’nt be a particularly popular policy.

The other approach to take would be to generate electricity to meet peak demand in other, cleaner ways than currently. This is where the Flow boiler comes in.

The Flow boiler generates most electricity when most is needed – when people are in the house, with the heating on. This tends to coincide with times of peak demand (in the colder months). Since the Flow boiler can generate up to half the electricity needed by a household, this means that a household with a Flow boiler will only need 50% of its electricity from the Grid. This obviously reduces peak demand, since some of the electricity required by the house won’t be coming from the grid, it will be coming from the Flow boiler.

Of course, that’s not the only benefit. Since the Flow boiler generates electricity much more efficiently than a power station, and no electricity is lost in transmission between a power station and the home, it reduces a household’s carbon emissions by up to 1000kg CO2 annually. That’s the same as driving 4000 miles less every year in the average UK car.


That’s one of the, genuinely, amazing things about the boiler. Due to our innovative business model and the fact that the Flow boiler is clever enough to pay for itself via the electricity it generates, the Flow boiler comes with no upfront cost, so that’s a huge benefit to customers. Then the Flow boiler reduces household carbon emissions, helps to meet peak demand, helps with energy security and energy independence and, long term, once the Flow boiler has paid for itself, it reduces customer bills too. It’s a unique collection of advantages that we think will make the Flow boiler a fantastic success.

Alex Heys Author: Alex Heys Google+
Head of Marketing and Communications at Flow: A true believer in the power of words and the importance of the experience.


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