About a million households will be paid today to cut their electricity consumption as sub-zero temperatures add pressure to the country’s energy supply.
The emergency program, called the Demand Flexibility Service, was trialled by National Grid last year, but this is the first time it has been deployed to prevent power outages. National Grid is expected to pay more than £1 million to households that reduce their electricity consumption today, but not everyone is eligible.
When does the scheme take effect?
The Demand Flexibility Service will run for an hour between 5pm and 6pm today – early evenings on weekdays are peak times for electricity consumption.
Am I eligible and am I too late to apply?
The scheme requires households to have a second-generation smart meter, as suppliers must have access to half-hour readings. More than 20 energy suppliers are members of the scheme, although some of them only supply energy to non-household properties. Octopus Energy, British Gas and E.ON Next are included in the list of providers approved by National Grid to participate.
The TBEN for applying for the scheme depends on which energy supplier you are with. For example, Octopus Energy (which helped National Grid with its trials last year) allows households to sign up for the scheme until 5 p.m. today.
Octopus Energy told The Telegraph it had invited 1.5 million customers to join the scheme, with 500,000 already signed up. Your supplier has already contacted you if you are eligible for the energy savings scheme.
What should I do according to the schedule?
The aim of the rollout is to dramatically reduce energy use during the one-hour slot, but households won’t have to unwrap the candles and sit in the dark. Instead, households are expected to delay using energy-intensive appliances until after 6 p.m. This could mean postponing dinner or not running the washing machine or dishwasher during that hour, or waiting to charge an electric car until nighttime.
How much will I get paid?
How much households can earn depends on their supplier and how much power they would normally use. Some households can earn up to £10 for the session, but most will probably get back a few pounds.
During trials, suppliers got £3 per kilowatt-hour saved, but outside of testing they’re likely to get more. Some are said to have agreed on £6 per kilowatt hour for Monday night.