Although it may still look very Autumnal, Winter has officially started – at least as far as large energy users are concerned.


That’s because Triad season began on 1 November.


Your energy consumption during the three peak half hours of demand (the ‘Triads’) between now and the end of February will determine how much you pay in National Grid network transmission charges.


Depending on where in the country you are, these can be as much as £54,969 per megawatt of power consumed.*


That’s why so many large companies are keen to reduce consumption around potential Triad periods – either by load shifting or using other Demand Side Response practices (of which more in a minute).


Things to look out for

The key is guessing when these Triads are likely to occur – as we don’t know for sure which half hours will have the highest demand until National Grid reviews the data at the end of the season. Guess wrong, and it could end up costing you many thousands.


It’s therefore important to monitor for things like:

  • Detailed weather forecasts – both short-range and seasonal
  • Historic patterns of demand
  • Capacity of embedded generation (e.g. on-site solar or wind farms)
  • Changes in industrial and commercial demand
  • Residential consumer behaviour


Of course, to do this properly would take up a lot of time, resources and expertise. Luckily, at npower Business Solutions, we can do all the hard work for you via our Triad Warning Service.


This is free to large supply customers on flexible contracts. Non-supply customers can also make use of this service (for a fee).


A good track record

Over the past seven years, we’ve successfully predicted 42 out of 45 Triads, including all three last year that other suppliers missed.


For the new Triad season, our Triad Forecasting Team is working more closely with our Energy HQ specialists.


This means they can connect intelligence to action – for example via our Automated Triad Management service for customers who want to make sure they respond to each forecast.


Linking to demand management

Automated Triad Management can also be integrated with Demand Side Response (DSR).


Reducing or shifting load to less expensive times – and/or switching to on-site generation or utilising battery storage assets – can help you save on other peak non-commodity charges too.


There’s also the potential to generate revenue from participating in balancing services and selling back unused volume during market peaks.


You can find out more at our DSR Clinic.


Finally, to ensure you’re clued up about possible Triad costs for the season ahead, try our free online Triad Calculator.


* £54,969 is the National Grid Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) tariff for Half-Hourly demand in the London region