Our Policy Mission Statement

We want to see more consumers taking advantage of the benefits of renewable energy by using safe and approved equipment and installers. No lives should be lost through poor installations or unsafe Electrical Energy Storage Systems (EESS).

We are supporting Government Agencies and the Emergency Services by providing a central database of EESS.

We will reduce consumer detriment and raise industry standards by ensuring consumers have access to approved codes of practice.

Background

The interest and use of energy storage systems in the UK is set to gain momentum, with battery storage capacity set to increase by a factor of eight from 2017 to 2022 with 9,000 Megawatt hours of new capacity added. We are now in the third carbon budget with a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2022, meaning that the need to promote and encourage uptake of renewable energy measures will only become more relevant.

Energy storage is the future for over 27 million households in the UK and it comes with excellent benefits:

  • Consumers have the power to control their energy supply and demand
  • Assists the roll-out of electric vehicles as a storage system
  • Helps maximise usage of Solar PV, wind and hydro generation
  • Helps reduce energy bills
  • Opportunity to become energy independent from the grid
  • Become part of a network for grid trading and dynamic response
  • Potential return on investment within 10 years for energy storage systems

Flexi-Orb is providing the oversight regulations and registration platform via the Flexible Energy Register to ensure the safe and controlled deployment of electrical energy storage systems.

Recommendations

To ensure consumer safety and confidence, an oversight body needs to be established.

This body will ensure that:

  • Every EESS installation should be registered, to provide traceability of installed products and ensure high standards of workmanship and redress to consumers.
  • Every EESS installer should belong to an approved consumer code to ensure high customer service standards and routes of redress.
  • Government and other key stakeholders recognise the need for regulation around EESS through regulation.

Regulatory Landscape

Currently, the safety of EESS sits within various rules and standards:

  • General Product Safety Regulations 2005 – A general requirement for products to be placed on the market to be safe.
  • Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations 2016 – Electrical equipment designed for use between 50-1,000 volts AC or 75-1,500 volts DC must be ‘safe’, constructed in accordance with principles constituting good engineering practice and conform to specific regulatory safety objectives.
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015 – Provides consumers with the rights to receive goods that are of satisfactory quality, safe and as described. Installations must be carried out using reasonable care and skill.
  • The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 – Covers the labelling of batteries.
  • Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 – Only applies to automotive, industrial and portable batteries and concerns their labelling, disposal and recycling.
  • Waste Equipment and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 – Places responsibilities on retailers for taking back and handling waste electrical equipment.

It is highly recommended that a Statutory Instrument is passed to bring together the rules and regulations. This will provide clarity for installers and consumers as well as ensuring high standards for products and installers.

Advantages of Regulation of EESS

  • Only safe, approved items will be allowed to be placed on the market and in consumers’ homes.
  • Fire Service can see EESS technology installed at a particular premise if attending an incident.
  • Registration of those EESS products, so that there is visibility through data and traceability of products and installations. This can help with product safety recalls and support PAS 7100 (The Office for Product Safety and Standards: Supporting better product recalls).
  • Allows regulators such as BEIS and OFGEM to have topline data showing deployment and use.
  • Electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to have the potential to generate data at a micro level.
  • DNOs are rarely informed of EESS being connected to the grid – which could put a strain on the network. Registration would help DNOs manage the network. Flexi-Orb will track all this and automatically complete the G98 or G99 DNO notification.
  • Safe decommissioning of equipment and compliance with waste regulations – Flexi-Orb will send a reminder to the EESS owner and will help them with disposal should the installer or manufacturer not be able to do so (e.g. gone out of business).
  • Every consumer will have access to dispute resolution through an approved consumer code, in case there are issues relating to their purchase before, during and after the sale.