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We take a look at a new initiative called the National Grid Demand Flexibility Service, where energy companies will give you money back if you use less electricity during peak times.
How to register
Check with your energy provider and if they’re participating, they’ll let you know about the National Grid’s event days. It’s easy to set up, and means that on a particular day you can try to use less electricity – usually at an agreed time between 4-7pm. You’ll be reminded an hour before to get ready for that peak hour.
Only those with smart meters can apply
The scheme is based around tracking use over specific periods of the day, so you can only take part if you have a smart meter.
You could earn up to £100 over winter
National Grid ESO has previously said it expects to pay suppliers the equivalent of £3 per unit (kWh) saved. However, suppliers are able to choose whether to pass on the full amount. The exact amount will depend on your electricity use and the number of times you’re prompted to cut your usage during winter.
Also be aware, some of these schemes only run until the end of winter (i.e., March 2024) so act fast to take advantage.
How to prepare
Once you’ve signed up, go round your home switching off all of the unnecessary plugs, and power down everything in your office.
Keep your fridge and WiFi on, but turn off your microwave, for example, and your Alexa device. Anything that’s non-essential and usually running in the background.
How much can I earn?
After the hour is up, you’ll be emailed to say that the event has finished. You could earn anything from £1-£2, if you lasted the whole hour.
Make money now!
It’s completely free to be part of this scheme if you’re with E.ON Next, British Gas, Octopus Energy and Ovo Energy. Sign up now by clicking on the link that applies to you, and you’ll see what deals each supplier is offering.
To get involved you will need a smart meter that automatically sends half-hourly readings, so they can calculate your daily electricity use. If you want to get a smart meter to take part or switch your current smart meter to half-hourly reading then find out how here. You’ll also need to give them ‘marketing consent’ so they can contact you about the scheme, which you can do in your E.ON Next customer profile on the company’s website.
If you’re an E.ON Next customer, you’ll be contacted if you are eligible to take part – so keep an eye on your inbox. Shifting your energy use with the Demand Flexibility Service is a great opportunity to earn rewards for saving energy to lower your bills this winter.
Taking part is really easy – all you have to do is try to reduce the electricity you use during ‘Peak Save’ sessions until the end of March 2024.
- Each session will last between 30 minutes and four hours. They’ll be in touch beforehand, so you can decide if it’s convenient to take part.
- During the session, try to use less electricity than you normally would. The target is 30% less.
- They’ll do the calculations through your smart meter and let you know how much you saved.
- Save money on your electricity bill – you could earn the equivalent of six days’ free electricity.
- As this is a trial, British Gas is not able to invite all its customers to take part at the moment. So if you haven’t been sent an invitation, unfortunately you can’t sign up right now.
Earn rewards for using less at peak times this winter. With Saving Sessions, Octopus rewards you for using less power – and give you the chance to win mystery prizes too.
It’s entirely free to get involved. Find out more by clicking here. Your tariff and energy payments won’t change, and you can opt out any time.
OVO is the UK’s third largest energy supplier, and recently announced the launch of Power Move, an innovative new trial helping customers to cut usage during peak times and save money.
- Customers are rewarded up to £100 for shifting energy usage to (on average) greener times of day.
- New trial helps to reduce peak demand on grid over winter.
- A typical household uses a fifth of its daily energy between 4pm and 7pm.
- Supports OVO’s ‘Plan Zero’ mission to “decarbonise homes and save consumers money”.
The trial rewards customers up to £100 in total for moving non-essential energy use to times when the grid is not only less in-demand but is also less likely to be using fossil fuels to create electricity. Find out more here.