How Octopus, British Gas and Ovo customers could be paid for using less electricity

People without energy smart meters in their homes are dismayed they won't be able to benefit from the new scheme, ITV News' Rupert Evelyn reports

Some households will be paid if they reduce their electricity usage during peak hours on certain days, after National Grid plans were given the go-ahead by the energy regulator.

The network operator, which revealed the service as part of efforts to avoid potential blackouts, has said households could save money through the limited scheme as a reward for using less energy.

Energy watchdog Ofgem has approved the proposals for National Grid electricity system operator (ESO) to launch the programme, called a demand flexibility service, from November until March.

Here is how the scheme will run:

Who is eligible?

The service is currently only available to people with smart meters from providers that can provide data in 30 minute increments.

National Grid ESO says they are looking to expand the eligibility for services so that more consumers can participate in future.

What energy suppliers will be taking part?

  • Octopus Energy - its 'Saving Sessions' scheme, which began in November, rewards customers with around £4 for every unit of energy customers save during a test window.

  • Ovo - it is set to use the system at times between December 8 and March 31 next year. Initially, the scheme is open to 15,000 Ovo customers, with this figure planned to increase after the first month

  • British Gas - Households will be paid around £4 for every unit of electricity that they reduce their consumption by during specific times. British Gas said that it hoped 100,000 customers would sign up.

What is a "test day"?

A test day refers to the day when the energy saving time period will be scheduled.

If a supplier joined the scheme at the beginning of November, they got the option of the full 12 tests and if they sign up in January they'll only get eight tests in total.

How many tests days will there be?

Two tests will run in the first month they participate followed by two tests a month for the duration of the service.

When will tests take place?

Test will take place during hours where more energy is used, such as the evenings or weekend.

Once a provider has agreed to a test they will notify their customers a day ahead of the test time.

How long will a test last?

Tests will be for one hour usually around the evening peal (4-7pm). During this time, consumers will be asked to reduce their energy use, which could mean not using power-hungry appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers.

When will the scheme run between?

Ofgem has granted approval for the scheme to run from November 3, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

How much will households save?

The National Grid previously said a typical household will be able to save approximately £100 over the five month duration of this service.

However it is up to each electricity supplier how much and what form this money is passed onto customers, and the fact that this figure is only an approximate average.

How do I sign up?

National Grid said it will pay energy suppliers, who will need to sign up to the scheme to operate it for customers, £3 for every kilowatt-hour during the test periods.

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