Asset metering: Lessons from the UK’s energy grid

April 24, 2024
Michael Kenefick

As EV adoption accelerates worldwide, the untapped potential of these vehicles to offer remarkable grid flexibility is increasingly apparent. This potential is key to fostering a sustainable, dependable, and cost-effective energy system for all.

In anticipation of’s forthcoming asset metering report, Harry King, our Europe Marketing Lead, interviewed Michael Kenefick, Grid Services Manager at, who offers insights into how asset-level metering can play a pivotal role in shaping a harmonious integration of transportation and energy systems, with learnings from the UK energy market.

HK: Hi Michael. Firstly, what is asset metering, and why is it important for households and the power system?

MK: Asset metering is about households engaging with the power system in a way that supports the grid by reducing strain and operating costs. It also provides a means to reward households for their engagement. Put simply, asset metering is about unlocking flexibility.

The asset refers to an electric appliance and metering refers to measuring and controlling the power of the appliance to give it an active role in supporting the grid.

HK: Great! Then, how do EVs fit into the concept of asset metering, and what potential do they hold for the power system?

MK: At the end of this decade, there will be around 13 million EVs in the UK. If all drivers were to charge this number of EVs at the same time, it would require 90 gigawatts of power, twice Britain’s peak demand as it exists today.

While this poses a challenge, properly managed EV charging (assets) can revolutionize the grid by controlling when EVs do and do not charge and also providing power back to it. EVs can be a huge tool for supporting the grid.

HK: This sounds like a significant change to the energy system. What challenges need to be addressed to unlock the potential of asset metering?

MK: Currently, the rules for metering are designed for large-scale power plants. The rules are very prescriptive, and this can hinder innovation and new market entrants.

It is also worth noting that data from boundary meters – such as smart meters - an alternative to asset metering, is often not live. When you consider that only 50 to 60 percent of UK households have smart meters – and that over four million meters are currently not operating in smart mode, according to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero – it is clear that having a meter in an asset is a better approach. It is through asset metering that we can drive next-level grid flexibility. This is the mindset that needs to be embraced.

HK: Thinking of the UK market, how could the rules around metering be adapted to better accommodate EV charging and other distributed energy resources (DERs)?

MK: At, we are advocating for less prescriptive rules around metering, encouraging the grid to specify what performance it requires instead of dictating how they are achieved.

Also, individual charge points for EVs are currently treated as individual assets, but it would be more effective to treat them as part of a virtual power plant (VPP). This approach allows for better performance and accuracy, making them eligible to provide services to the grid. Individual charge points have a meter accuracy error level of around two percent, but when charge points are grouped together, the aggregated error level drops below one percent.


HK: It sounds like change must come from all sides. How do you see the current diversity of hardware used for EV charge points impacting their integration into the grid as valuable assets for grid services?

MK: This does pose a challenge. Currently, various manufacturers produce charge points with different specifications and communication protocols. This lack of standardization not only complicates the process of accessing and aggregating these assets for grid services but also hampers interoperability and scalability.

To address this challenge, a universally adhered-to industry standard for EV charging equipment could greatly simplify the integration process. By adopting common technical specifications and communication protocols, charge point manufacturers can ensure that their equipment is compatible with grid management systems and accessible to third-party service providers.

Additionally, greater cooperation from system operators in welcoming EVs for grid integration is essential. The power system and EV industry have historically not worked together. To aid the adoption of EVs, and the transition to a low-carbon future, it is vital that these industries collaborate.

Collaborative efforts between industry stakeholders, policymakers, and regulatory bodies are needed to establish a cohesive framework that supports the seamless integration of EVs into the energy ecosystem, ultimately unlocking their full potential as valuable grid assets.

HK: One last question. What role is playing in addressing these challenges and advancing asset metering for EV charging?

MK: We have been heavily involved in informing the design of the National Grid ESO’s asset balancing program. Earlier this year, the British grid operator committed to admitting up to 300 megawatts of aggregated assets into the Balancing Mechanism. 

This enables greater consumer participation in flexibility, allowing capacity from small-scale assets, such as EV chargers and electric heating systems, to be used to balance the electricity system in real-time by the grid’s control room.

Stay tuned for’s asset metering report

We’re excited to share that our new report, Metering Matters: Unlocking Electric Vehicle Charging Flexibility Through the Asset Meter, will be launching in the coming weeks. Join our mailing list for updates.

Ready to learn more about Check out our award-winning managed charging solutions or download our app.

Latest posts

Similar articles