Frequently Asked Questions
What’s it all this about?
One of the energy industry’s biggest challenges is managing real-time changes in household energy demand, and ensuring there is always the right amount electricity being generated across the country to match that demand.
Now that the UK’s renewable energy generation is growing, there are new challenges in matching electricity supply and demand. Wind and solar power by their very nature can suddenly produce less electricity if the wind drops or the sun sets.
Now, your battery means you can be part of the solution by giving you the flexibility to respond by increasing or decreasing your personal electricity consumption on demand.
What is grid trading?
Grid trading is a brand new service that uses your battery to take or feed small amounts of electricity back to the grid at times when it is most valuable. This action, when coordinated with a community of thousands of similar batteries, allows you to benefit from income opportunities usually only accessible to large organisations. By simultaneously reducing the need for polluting fossil fuel power stations, and enabling reliable integration of more renewables and other low carbon technologies like electric vehicles, you’ll also help contribute to a cleaner, more stable grid.
How does it work?
Using a small device connected to your battery, smart algorithms learn your home’s energy needs and, together with other inputs like weather data, accurately predict how much electricity will be produced by your solar system and consumed by your household, and importantly, when.
These forecasts are used to calculate the optimum operating strategy for your battery; automatically deciding when to trade energy with the grid, or to reserve the battery’s capacity for use in your home.
Finally, and most importantly, in return you are handsomely rewarded .
What is the Grid Trading Trial?
Over the next 6 months we’re running a limited trial with a small number of invited customers to test this exciting new service. This is your chance to help shape its design and development, and be one of the first customers to sign up when the service is launched later in the year.
It’s free to join and we'll give you everything you need to get started. To sweeten the deal you’ll also receive £100 of M&S vouchers to say thank you once you’ve been going for 3 months.
Who is Levelise and what is your role in the trial?
Levelise is responsible for operating the trial on behalf of your battery installer and their specially invited customers.
Levelise is an innovative British technology start-up founded in Oxford by a team of hardware and software engineers, data scientists, algorithm developers, and renewable energy specialists.
We develop AI-based technology and energy services that enable households with solar and battery equipment to earn more from their systems. We make these batteries available to store renewable electricity from the grid when it is abundant, send it back to the grid when it is in short supply, and provide access to key energy markets to do this. In return, households receive payments for the use of their system, and help support a greener, more reliable electricity grid.
You can find out more about Levelise and what we do on our website
Will I need any additional equipment?
Yes. An installation engineer will install a small demand response unit (DRU) in your home and connect it to both your battery and your home broadband. The DRU will be provided and installed completely free of charge, and the whole process should take less than an hour.
Why is the DRU connected to my broadband?
Your broadband connection is used so that the DRU can communicate securely with our servers every few seconds.
It is important that you have a reliable broadband connection so that your battery can make the most of the service. If your battery cannot be contacted for long periods it might be excluded from the service in future.
The DRU will use about 1GB of your data allowance each month so it is important that you have an appropriate package from your broadband service provider. Don't worry, that might sound like a lot, but to put it in perspective it's the same as watching Netflix for 1 hour!.
What's more, because data is continuously drip fed you won't notice any impact on the performance of your broadband. In fact it amounts a data rate of less than 400 bytes per second. If you remember the days of dailup modems, they had a data rate of 7000 bytes per seconds, so it's 10 times less that that!
What data will be collected by the DRU and is it secure?
We are committed to protecting your privacy and follow a privacy by design approach. We only collect data that is essential for operating this service, and when your data is collected Levelise stores it in pseudonymised form. By that we mean that when stored, your data is referenced using only a unique identification number. No members of the Levelise team are able to identify you personally from your data.
I bought my battery so I could use more of my solar energy. Will this be affected?
The service will always prioritise your wallet; working to achieve the best economic benefit for you. In most cases this will mean ensuring that your battery is always available to store and use your own solar energy in your home. Occasionally though, this will be achieved by deliberately exporting some energy back to the grid, or importing from the grid.
What else do I need to do?
Once you have signed up, nothing at all! Simply ensure your battery and DRU is always on and connected to the internet and our clever algorithms will do leg work so you don’t have to.
How can I see what my battery is doing?
We’ll provide you with a login to our dashboard so you can keep an eye on your battery. This will allow you to view live and historical performance data for your battery.
We’re also designing an all new smart phone and web app, which will be ready soon. Once it is you’ll be able to use this instead.
Is this safe and will it harm my battery?
The DRU has been developed and tested by working closely with leading battery manufacturers to ensure it is completely safe and compatible with their warranty conditions.
What’s more our service has been approved by National Grid to provide them with balancing services.
Will my feed-in tariff be affected?
No. You’ll continue to be paid your feed-in tariff by your FIT provider in the usual way.
Will my electricity bill be affected?
Your battery will naturally reduce the amount of electricity you use. However, during the trial your electricity consumption might increase slightly compared to if you had not been part of the trial. After the trial we will compensate you for the small increase in your electricity bill. When we launch the service this small cost will be more than offset by the additional earnings from grid trading.
How long will the trial run?
The trial is expected to run for up to 6 months or until we launch the full service later this year.
What happens at the end of the trial?
At the end of the trial you will be given the option to keep your DRU free of charge and join a commercial service. And to be paid on a monthly basis.
Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
If you’re a bit techy like us and you’d like to understand more about how it all works, feel free to ping us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do our best to answer in plain English, or not, if you prefer. Alternatively, if you have any other questions or concerns, you can contact your installer directly through your usual representative or using <telephone number / email address here>
What if I change my mind?
If you decide you would like to end your participation in the trial, just email us and let us know. We’ll immediately deactivate your DRU and connection to the service.
That said, a key aim of the trial is to help create the best product we can. If we’re not meeting your expectations and you’re willing to give us some feedback, we’d really appreciate hearing it. And if you’re prepared to give us a second chance, we’ll do our best not to let you down.