HOUSEHOLDS will be paid to reduce their electricity usage again tonight to help prevent blackouts.
The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is to run its second live Demand Flexibility Service between 4.30pm and 6pm tonight.
Energy suppliers will be taking part in tonight’s National Grid scheme
The scheme pays households and businesses to turn off some appliances for an hour or two.
Tonight’s sessions will come just 24 hours after the first live run took place.
It comes as recent cold weather and bad conditions for wind turbines have left the grid with less supply to meet demand than it would have liked.
There have been several test runs in the past, but yesterday was the first time that the service was used to make sure the grid was balanced.
The system is set up to ensure that no more electricity is being taken out than is being put in at any given minute.
Households will need to have a functioning smart meter to be able to take part.
The exact amount you get will depend on your supplier, how much you reduce usage and how many times you take part.
Customers will get on average £3 back from National Grid if they reduce their energy usage by a minimum of 30% but others will get even more if they cut back further.
Any customers who have already signed up via their supplier to the DFS don’t need to do anything to sign up to tonight’s event.
They just have to respond how they would usually, via email or text.
Here’s the full list of which energy suppliers are taking part in the switch off and how much each will pay.
Octopus has confirmed that it will be taking part in the scheme tonight.
Customers who turn their appliances off will be rewarded with £4 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy they save compared to their normal usage during the two-hour time period.
Customers will be handed the cash via their accounts as ‘Octo Point’.
They will then be given the chance to use it towards their energy bill, withdraw it to their bank accounts or use it for other rewards Octopus offers.
The points should be added to accounts within a couple of days but definitely by two weeks.
Ovo will also be taking part tonight too.
Customers an make a minimum of £1 for every kWh shifted below their personal target – the more electricity shifted, the greater the reward.
An average home could earn around £50 in total, but it could be up to £100 depending on usage and participation in more events.
The supplier will be sending emails out to customers taking part today, with information about how it’ll work.
British Gas confirmed that its ‘Peak Save’ scheme will run this evening (January 24).
The supplier said it will double the payments made to customers this winter to provide a greater incentive to shift demand.
For instance, if you save 1kwh in energy and National Grid pays customers £3, then British Gas will double this to £6.
It will be applied to your account as credit towards your energy bill.
Shell Energy told us it won’t be taking part in tonight’s (January 24) event.
The supplier also didn’t take part in last night’s event.
But Shell said it is working with National Grid and exploring options to offer customers the chance to participate in the future.
E.ON has confirmed it would also be inviting customers to turn off their energy tonight.
It said around half a million customers will be invited to take part.
We’ve asked how much it’ll pay customers and are waiting to hear back.
What is the demand flexibility service?
National Grid has warned that Brits face three-hour blackouts this winter.
To help prevent blackouts National Grid has established the demand flexibility scheme which pays people to use less energy during peak times.
The scheme is run by energy suppliers who will be notified by the National Grid when the service can go live if the UK’s energy supply falls low.
But until yesterday, National Grid had only ran trial sessions.
To get the money, customers will be expected to shift their use of power away from times of high demand to help prevent blackouts.
That could mean putting on the dishwasher or washing machine overnight or charging an electric vehicle at off-peak times.
The system which pays households to cut their usage at peak times has been tested twice since it was launched a month ago.
Without the scheme, there could be cold days creating a demand that outstrips supply.
It would then mean certain areas of the UK, would be warned of planned blackouts.
According to the National Grid, in this scenario, there would be a potential need to interrupt the supply to some customers for limited periods.
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