With the acquisition of Flexitricity, said to be UK’s leader in the management of networked services, Alpiq hopes to gain access to specialised know-how and new markets in the area of decentralised energy management. Entering the decentralised energy management market is part of Alpiq’s new strategy, as presented last December.

Since its commercial launch in 2008, Flexitricity has been aggregating the electricity production and consumption of energy-intensive industrial, commercial, and public sector companies. It offers these electricity volumes to the transmission and distribution system operators as positive or negative reserves for ancillary services. In Europe, Great Britain is the most developed market for demand response services, says Alpiq, and Flexitricity "pioneered this market sector and continues to lead it in terms of volume and technical capability."

Until recently, network stability was mainly ensured through standard supply control in that conventional power plants offered their services in the ancillary market, Alpiq notes, but demand management is gaining in importance due to increased fluctuating electricity production from wind and PV. In essence, the Flexitricity concept is to make electricity demand more flexible and adaptable to fluctuating electricity supply. If power has to be taken from the grid or electricity has to be fed to stabilise the grid, Flexitricity controls the connected power plants and machines directly via a secure internet line that connects to a virtual power plant. In doing so, the company helps to stabilise the grid, increase supply security, and reduce CO2 emissions while optimising the consumption and production volumes of its clients in order to reduce their grid costs.