Everything you need to know about the new scheme which pays £10 a day to cut energy use and avoid blackouts

7 October 2022, 11:38

Energy smart meter in the dark
Energy smart meter in the dark. Picture: Getty
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Brits will be paid to use energy-guzzling appliances, like washing machines, during off-peak hours as part a new energy scheme to stop blackouts in winter.

As part of the ‘demand flexibility scheme’, households will be told by their energy supplier when to turn off their appliances and when to use them.

The full details are still yet to be revealed but this is what we know so far:

Russia’s war in Ukraine has meant that the supply of gas and electricity has become a lot more uncertain and costly.

As a result, energy regulator OFGEM warned of a ‘gas supply emergency’ with Britain facing a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages as a result.

Industry rules mean that the power stations that have their gas cut off may have to pay huge charges for failing to deliver promised electricity supplies.

Generators are so worried about these penalties that they’re limiting the advance sales of electricity, and then in turn, bumping up the cost.

READ MORE: Liz Truss 'stops campaign' to help people save money on bills, amid serious warnings about blackouts

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) published three possible scenarios if there is not enough energy to meet the demand – the worst of which warned of planned three-hour outages for households and business to ensure the grid does not collapse.

Any forced power cuts will take place with 24 hours notice probably between the hours of 4pm to 9pm – but more likely to 7pm when the power demand peaks.

However, they expect that there will be enough energy to meet the demand this winter and that a short supply will be ‘unlikely’.

The ‘demand flexibility service’ which will be used whatever happens to make sure people get rewarded for using the scheme, will run from November to March and households will need to opt-in through their energy supplier.

People who sign up will be paid £10 a day and larger businesses will also be paid for reducing their demand – like turning off generators.

Climate Minister refuses to rule out energy rationing this winter

Once you’ve opted in, suppliers will message customers details of the time they need to minimise their electricity use for the following day and ask them to use electricity at a different time, like overnight.

The only criteria is that you need a smart meter – which the National Grid say is because the ESO will need half hourly data from the provider for the service to work.

The National Grid hopes the scheme will free up an extra 2GW, enough to power about 600,000 homes.

The service comes after a successful trial run by the National Grid and Octopus Energy earlier this year. Since then, they have been working with suppliers of all electricity to scale it up into a national service.

The next steps will be working with those suppliers in winter to understand when the availability of electric will be.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

New Scotland Yard, London, Britain, UK

Six former Met Police officers handed suspended prison sentences after sending racist messages

Donald Trump

Donald Trump back at New York civil fraud trial as testimony nears end

Will it snow this weekend/?

When is it going to snow next? Met Office verdict on weekend weather

Shane MacGowan's wife has given an update ahead of the star's funeral on Friday.

‘My heart is bursting open with love’: Shane MacGowan’s wife gives emotional update ahead of Pogues star’s funeral

Full dates of 2024 bank holidays

When is the next bank holiday? Full list of 2024 dates

The family of Ruth Perry said "urgent lessons" must be learned after a coroner concluded an Ofsted inspection contributed to her taking her own life.

Ruth Perry's family hits out at 'perverse, inhumane' Ofsted system as inquiry finds it 'likely contributed' to her death

Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

Strikes on Gaza’s southern edge sow fear in one of last areas people can flee to

Dame Esther is set to step down from her presidency as she battles lung cancer.

Dame Esther Rantzen steps down as Childline president after terminal lung cancer diagnosis

Buildings were damaged by a massive explosion on Mahe, Seychelles

Seychelles declares state of emergency after explosion amid destructive flooding

The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case is finding it difficult being accused of her kidnapping.

Madeleine McCann prime suspect 'struggling with pressure of being accused of one of most infamous crimes'

Prince Harry told the High Court he and Meghan were 'forced' to leave the UK

‘The UK is my home and Meghan and I were forced to leave,’ Prince Harry says in High Court security battle

Holly Willoughby is offered 'big money' deal with return to Dancing On Ice

Holly Willoughby to be offered 'big money' deal to return as Dancing On Ice co-host

Boris Johnson gives evidence to the Covid Inquiry

Boris Johnson tells Covid Inquiry he 'could not have done more' to stop Downing Street parties

This is the moment a Ulez camera explodes.

Shocking moment Ulez camera explodes after being targeted by anti-Ulez activists

APTOPIX Campus Shooting Las Vegas

Gunman dead after killing three in attack at Las Vegas university

Phillip Schofield quit This Morning earlier this year

ITV 'did not cover-up evidence of Phillip Schofield's affair with This Morning runner before star quit,' review finds