Red Alert – Triads confirmed

Red Alert – Triads confirmed

The Triads for 2017/18 have been confirmed by National Grid and Utilitywise correctly called all three, each with a Red Alert.

Overall, we issued only nine Red Alerts throughout the entire season through our Triad Alert service. This means that those who reacted to our alerts should have been able to reduce their electricity transmission charges.

Confirmed Triads 2017/18

Potential Triad dates

National demand (MW)

For the half hour ending

Utilitywise alert level issued

11 December 2017



Red – take action now

5 February 2018



Red – take action now

26 February 2018



Red – take action now

What are the Triads?

National Grid bases its electricity transmission costs around the Triads. These are the three highest points of demand during the winter period. They must occur between the start of November and the end of February, and each must be at least ten days apart. The use of Triads is meant to provide National Grid with revenue which reflects the scale of demand it needs to service on the network.

Why are they important?

While most homes and many businesses will not be affected by the actual Triad days, those consumers on contracts which ‘pass through’ related costs will be exposed. Their annual electricity transmission costs will be directly linked to their scale of demand on each of the Triad points. If a consumer can reduce their demand at the point a Triad is expected, then they have the potential to cut their costs significantly.

Changing patterns

Falling demand and changing usage patterns mean Triads are no longer guaranteed to occur at the height of winter. Thanks to the ‘Beast from the East’ hitting Europe at the end of the season, higher demand was actually recorded outside of the Triad period than within it.

As discussed in our recent blog, this season has presented a number of challenges, including latest Triad on record, and the weakest demand levels since the early 1990s.

Despite these challenges, Utilitywise called all three Triad days, with less alerts than last year. This means that businesses who followed our alerts will have also minimised the loss in revenue from reducing demand on days that were not Triads.

With the Triads designed to provide investment signals by highlighting the highest system requirements, if this situation continues it may cause many to question if the Triad process is fit for purpose. Until then, we’ll continue to support clients with our Triad Alert service.

Avoid the Triads with help from Utilitywise

Utilitywise provides a daily Triad service throughout the winter season each year.

Triad dates 2017-18

This gives clients our expectation of whether a Triad will occur that day, as well as a preliminary forecast for Triads over the rest of the winter.

To find out more, call us on 01527 511 757 or visit our website.

Join our webinar – Prepare for Triads

We’re hosting a free webinar ‘Winter is coming – Prepare for Triads now‘ on Thursday 18 October 2018 to help you take the necessary action to avoid these transmission costs.

To find out more and to register your place now, click here.

Paul Anderson

Posted by on Monday, the 26. March at 9.10

Paul Anderson joined Utilitywise in 2000 as a member of the Market Intelligence team. As a Senior Analyst, Paul is responsible for the production of bespoke strategic consultancy projects as well as developing analytical models. This has included a market-leading Triad forecasting model and a fully inclusive delivered energy pricing forecast tool. Paul has an Honours degree in Film and English from the University of Kent.