The Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) launched the Demand Flexibility Service earlier this month which offers customers opportunities to to make money-back by switching their energy usage amid concerns the UK could face blackouts this winter. The scheme is designed to incentivise households to reduce the amount of electricity they use during peak hours to help lower the strain on the grid.
The National Grid indicated on Monday (28 November) that it could trigger the first live run of the scheme but swiftly cancelled the plans. It has already been tested twice in recent weeks, with some households earning more than £4 over the course of an hour for taking part.
OVO is now the largest energy supplier to link up to the scheme, following the likes of Octopus which has already signed up. The energy firm said its customers could earn up to £100 over the course of a new trial which is set to run between 8 December and 31 March next year.
Initially, the scheme will be open to 15,000 OVO customers - all of which must have a smart meter - and this figure is set to increase after the first month. Customers will be issued three types of notification during the trial alerting participants of the days the grid is most likely to see demand, along with the time of day. OVO said the notifications will be as follows:
- High Demand Day notifications - exclusive to OVO customers. This alert will be sent via email to tell customers which days the grid is likely to see the highest demand so households can shift their non-essential electricity use to the following day.
- High Demand Time notifications - exclusive to OVO customers. This email notification will let customers know a time period during a specific day (e.g. between 4pm and 7pm) when the grid is likely to see the highest demand. This will allow recipients to shift their non-essential electricity use outside that period.
- National Grid ESO Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) notifications - these will be the notifications customers get as part of the DFS Trial. Customers will receive an email notification to let them know a time period during a specific day when the National Grid thinks the grid is likely to see the highest demand. That way they can shift their non-essential electricity use outside that period. A DFS notification will still be sent to customers by OVO but will call out that it is a DFS notification.
Eligibility for the OVO scheme is dependent on the following criteria:
- being an existing OVO Energy customer
- have a working electricity smart meter installed
- opt in to daily or half-hourly meter reads
- be supplied by OVO Energy throughout the trial
- not be part of the Power Move promotion
- not be registered for the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) with another provider
Raman Bhatia, chief executive officer of OVO, said: “We’re pleased to be joining the National Grid Electricity System Operator’s Demand Flexibility Scheme and launching another trial which rewards customers for their efforts in making small but significant changes to the way they consume energy.
“We know that winter is going to be a challenging time for many, so relieving that pressure where we can, and supporting our customers has never been more important.”