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    • Triad Charges
    • 30 March 2017
    • National Grid has confirmed the three winter evening peak periods upon which it bases annual charges for use of the transmission system.

      Called Triad periods, these are defined as the three half hours of highest peak demand over winter, at least 10 days apart. If half-hourly electricity users cut their energy use or switch to on-site generation during these periods, they can avoid a significant portion of their network charges for the year. However, those three Triad peaks are only confirmed by National Grid retrospectively, although warnings are issued throughout the Winter period based on when they might be expected.

      Whilst there are separate TRIAD charges for half-hourly metered supplies, these charges are paid by all electricity users with the costs smeared into other charges for NHH and even domestic users.

      Having confirmed these charges, suppliers will be calculating reconciliation amounts, working out the actual TRIAD charges for these periods and comparing to the forecast charges collected through bills, usually based on 85% of the previous year’s periods and rates. This means an additional line on bills, usually invoiced in April.

      With National Grid today confirming that last winter’s Triad periods fell at 5-5.30pm on Monday 5 December, Thursday 5 January and Monday 23 January.

      No provider wants to miss a Triad, or risk their credibility. Equally, sending out too many Triad alerts risks annoying customers, because they will then ramp down equipment or ramp up onsite generation, often generators, at a loss.

      The consensus is that accurately predicting Triad periods in around 20-25 calls over winter is a good balance.

      Most providers also now grade their alerts, outlining how likely a Triad occurring might be and TEC are no different, notifying our members of triad warnings by displaying them on the home page of our website and posting them on twitter.

      So how well did TEC Triad alerts perform? During the period November 2016 to February 2017 TEC communicated 12 triad warnings. There were 4 High Warnings ( Red ), of which 3 were on the dates now confirmed, 2 Medium ( Amber ) and 5 Low ( Blue ) so in all our record is pretty reliable.