British Gas and Octopus customers among millions paid to cut energy today

Millions of households have the opportunity to be paid to cut back on their energy usage tonight.

British Gas, OVO, EDF, Octopus and E.On customers will be part of the first Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) test delivered by the National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) tonight.

This scheme rewards households for reducing their energy consumption during certain specific periods.

The National Grid’s electricity system operator (ESO) will be putting on its first DFS test event on November 16 from 5 pm to 6pm and 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

As the energy price cap is predicted to rise by five percent, households are urged to make whatever savings they can where possible.

Cornwall Insight have announced today a projected a five percent rise to £1,931 for a typical dual fuel household from January to March 2024, ahead of next weeks price cap decision.

The National Grid ESO has previously said it expects to pay suppliers the equivalent of £3 per unit (kWh) saved so taking part in the scheme could be worthwhile for the savings.

These savings should then be passed onto customers through rewards such as pounds, points, or prizes. However, it is down to the suppliers/providers how much of this they pass on.

The scheme, initially set up last year, was relaunched again on October 30 this year and since then 1.4million people have signed up to join in.

Simon Francis, coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition said: “Any schemes which help reduce energy bills are worth households looking into.

“However, in the case of households with children, parents often have to use energy at specific times of day because of the demands of the family it can be difficult to match a family’s energy needs to what the National Grid wants them to do.

“There will also be concerns for busy households about the bureaucracy involved in such programmes. Innovative ideas like timing-based pricing have their place, but what we really need are reform of tariffs that will work for everyone, such as an Emergency Energy Tariff for vulnerable groups and a Help To Repay scheme for families in energy debt.”

The National Grid ESO has reiterated that the scheme is all about reducing your energy use where you can and they are not asking people to “go without electricity”.

If people sign up and for any reason are unable to reduce their electricity consumption during the event then they will not receive a penalty.

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The service is still open to new registrants and has already amassed over 400,000

The full list of registered providers is available on the ESO’s website and households will need to have a working smart meter in their home.

Despite energy help, almost two-thirds of young people (aged 18-24, 63 percent), are cutting back on their energy use, according to new research commissioned by the Warm This Winter campaign.

The energy bills crisis is now predicted to be so severe that a wide range of health, poverty, housing and environmental organisations and academics have written to Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP, to request the introduction of an Emergency Energy Tariff.

The Emergency Energy Tariff would use the existing Energy Price Guarantee mechanism to fix the unit costs and standing charges for vulnerable groups at a lower level.

Campaigners have suggested that this is fixed at the levels of energy bills in winter 2020/21, which would see eligible households’ monthly energy bills reduced by approximately £87 a month from current levels – a saving of around 46 percent.

While recent mild weather has led to a slight dip in gas prices, the energy price cap forecast suggests that any impact on bills in 2024 may be limited.

The cap is expected to decrease after March 2024, although it will remain elevated compared to historical levels.

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