New Money Off Energy Scheme Launches
Households in the UK will be offered discounts on their electricity bills if they cut use at peak times on a few days over the winter. Known as the Demand Flexibility Service, the scheme is part of the national grid’s efforts to prevent blackouts if not enough electricity is available. It’s thought that households could save up to £100 by cutting their usage on specified days.
12 test days will be available between November and March and will only be available for those with a smart meter. The scheme will offer customers £3 for every kWh of energy saved during these periods. There are drawbacks, though, as less than half of all UK households have smart electricity meters, despite the government’s smart meter rollout of 85% by 2025.
These test days will be communicated at least 24 hours beforehand. Customers will be asked to reduce their use during a one hour period suggested by the national grid. It will more than likely be between 4.00pm and 7.00pm, which is where peak energy usage usually is. Reducing energy use during this time could involve having dinner later or using a more energy efficient way of cooking, such as a microwave or an air fryer instead of the oven.
The scheme will work through energy suppliers being paid by the national grid before the discount is passed on to customers. They need to sign up to this scheme in the first place before they can advertise it. Each energy supplier will work out a way of implementing the scheme, which can work as money off bills, a credit to your account or an option to take out the money.
The Demand Flexibility Service is effectively being mass tested to see if it works on a large scale as a suitable option for conserving energy across the UK. It’s mainly to assuage fears that the UK will suffer blackouts if there isn’t enough electricity to power the country over the winter.
You’ll only receive the £3/kWh if you reduce your electricity use during the designated time period. This will be monitored by your smart meter. If not, you won’t receive any money off. The incentive works to both save money on energy bills and to cut carbon emissions as a way of being greener.
Octopus Energy conducted its own trial with 100,000 customers earlier this year, but they offered less of a discount. They have recently reported that 350,000 people have already signed up to the Demand Flexibility Service ahead of the test days being announced.
While there are only 12 test days initially, it’s believed that the discount days will increase to 25 in total if successful. This is just one way in which we can help to conserve the UK’s energy supply.