Households may be paid to turn off appliances again tomorrow to help avoid blackouts | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS may be paid to turn off appliances again tomorrow to help avoid blackouts.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) may need to use its demand flexibility scheme again tomorrow, according to The Sunday Times.

It comes as the grid prepares to run its first live event this evening between 5pm and 6pm.

But the ESO said it doesn't mean energy supplies are at risk, and people don't need to worry.

A decision on whether the demand flexibility scheme will be used again will be made in a meeting this afternoon, according to reports.

The Sun has contacted the ESO for comment.

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What is the National Grid’s ‘Demand Flexibility Service’ and who can take part?

The scheme has been set up to help lower the nation's energy usage at peak times and prevent blackouts this winter.

Participating households could be paid to to use certain appliances during off-peak hours – you can see a full list here.

You'll only be able to take part in the scheme if you have a smart meter.

It will be better to turn expensive appliances off rather than sit in the dark, if you're hoping to cash in on tonight's event.

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This is because you won't make as much of a saving by just switching your lights off.

You must sign up through your supplier, otherwise you won't be able to take part – they may have contacted you already inviting you to join.

If you are already signed up, then you don't need to do anything to take part in tonight's event.

The full list of firms taking part in the scheme can be found here.

Once you have signed up, your supplier will contact you just before the event to confirm that you want to participate.

Tonight will be the first time ever that the National Grid has used the scheme officially to reduce pressure on the grid. 

Previous cold weather prompted the National Grid to warn the scheme would go ahead but were later cancelled.

Freezing temperatures mean more people are heating their homes which increases the demand for energy.

But a lack of wind has reduced the amount of renewable energy available.

What is the demand flexibility scheme?

National Grid has established the demand flexibility service to help encourage households to use their most energy-intensive appliances during off-peak times during the night.

It is due to stay in place until March, with 26 energy suppliers including Octopus Energy and EDF signed up to it, but until now has only been used in tests.

This is the first live event that has taken place.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

The DFS was originally trialled with Octopus Energy, and other suppliers have since joined.

This includes British Gas, EDF, E.On, Ovo Energy and Shell Energy.

You have to sign up through your supplier – they may have already contacted you about taking part as well.

Once you have signed up your supplier will contact you via email or text when you can take part in the service.

Each energy provider has its own eligibility criteria to take part in the scheme though and how much you can earn will vary.

However, customers could be paid up to £6 per kilowatt (kWh) of energy saved compared to their normal usage over a two-hour time frame.

So if a customer slashed their energy usage by two kilowatt hours, the maximum the customer could earn back is £12.

Not all energy providers are offering the service at the same time either.

Plus, you can only take part in the service if you have a smart meter.

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There is a full list of providers running the DFS on the National Grids' website.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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