Ovo Energy: supplier to pay customers up to £100 not to use appliances between 4pm and 7pm this winter
The scheme comes as the National Grid warns of potential three-hour blackouts this winter
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Ovo Energy is set to pay customers up to £100 to cut their energy use at certain times of the day.
It comes as the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said that households and businesses may face planned three-hour blackouts during the winter to ensure the grid does not collapse.
In the other two scenarios, the operator hopes that by paying people to charge their electric cars at off-peak times, and firing up back-up coal plants, it can offset the risk of blackouts.
Cutting usage during peak hours
Ovo Energy said the trial will reward customers up to £100 in total for switching non-essential energy use to greener times of the day when the grid is less congested.
The firm assessed customer data to determine that between the hours of 4pm and 7pm is typically when demand on the energy grid is usually the highest, and the average household will use 19% of their daily total usage during these hours.
At these times of peak demand, there’s often not enough renewable energy to go round, and so dirtier carbon-heavy power fires up to fill the gap.
The firm said it is looking for customers to cut their average energy consumption during these hours to less than 12.5%
For the average household, that could be the equivalent of moving three loads of washing per week from peak time to a greener time of day.
A total of £20 will be rewarded for each month that this is achieved on average and the trial will run from 1 November 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Ovo Energy said data from the trial will be used to understand usage during peak times and to develop plans that support a greener, fairer and more resilient energy system.
The firm said it will be contacting customers to apply for the trial from mid October.
Raman Bhatia, CEO at OVO, said: “The UK energy sector is at a crucial point, and we need a resilient grid to get us through this winter.
“This trial provides essential consumer data which can be shared with the Government and the National Grid to prevent power shortages, and will give customers a deeper insight into their energy consumption habits, with great potential savings.”
A similar scheme unveiled by the National Grid Electricity Operator (ESO) is also set to offer financial incentives for switching energy usage to off-peak hours, meaning people could be paid to run their washing machines at night, or charge their electric cars away from times of high demand.
The “demand flexibility service” has been designed to help ease the pressure on power networks as the UK braces for a winter of potential supply challenges.
It is to be implemented by energy suppliers and monitored using a smart meter, with a minimum reward of £10 per day being issued to households who prioritise off-peak electricity usage, according to the Mail Online.
The voluntary scheme is scheduled to run from November to March and is being introduced to help prevent winter blackouts.