What is British Gas energy bill saving scheme? How to take part in PeakSave, when it’ll run over bank holiday

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British Gas has announced the scheme after the National Grid offered energy bill discounts if people saved energy this winter through its Demand Flexibility Service

British Gas is to offer its customers half-price energy this weekend as part of a bid to move demand away from peak times on weekdays.

The PeakSave scheme, which the energy provider claims is the first supplier-led scheme of its kind, has been announced after a similar National Grid energy bills scheme launched over the winter. The Demand Flexibility Service was used twice in January 2023 in a bid to ensure the UK had enough energy to meet peak demand.

It comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an energy crisis in both the UK and Europe. WIth Moscow blocking gas exports to much of the continent, international wholesale prices soared to more than double what they were before the conflict. The UK was particularly vulnerable to this shock because it is heavily reliant on gas imports.

Prices have been coming down but still remain much higher than in 2021, with energy bills remaining as one of the key drivers of the cost of living crisis. Government support for the utility bill is set to become less generous from July onwards.

So, what is the latest British Gas scheme - and how can you take part?

What is the British Gas PeakSave scheme?

On Friday (28 April), British Gas announced it would be doing a trial of its PeakSave scheme over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Previously, it had tried the initiative out during the National Grid Demand Flexibility Scheme. It says its customers received £1.8 million in credit, with payments working out at an average of £28.56 per customer. The top 2% of energy savers managed to recoup £53 on average.

British Gas is offering customers half-price electricity for five hours this weekend (image: PA)British Gas is offering customers half-price electricity for five hours this weekend (image: PA)
British Gas is offering customers half-price electricity for five hours this weekend (image: PA) | PA

It enabled British Gas to save 147 MegaWatt hours (MWh) of energy - the equivalent of the power used by 750,000 homes in the space of an hour. While this may not sound like much, British Gas suggested it was enough to help balance out demand on the grid.

Now, PeakSave is returning as a scheme in its own right, with customers set to be given half-price energy for five hours this weekend in a bid to encourage them to use more energy away from peak weekday times. So, unlike the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service - where people had to avoid using energy at certain times in order to benefit - you are being encouraged to use all the energy you need while the scheme is running. It means you could save on doing energy-intensive chores, like washing, charging devices or cooking.

After the scheme ends, British Gas will assess its customers’ usage data from their smart meters to work out how much energy they used over the five hours, and then credit back half of what they spent within seven working days.

How can you take part in British Gas PeakSave?

The next PeakSave trial is taking place on Sunday (30 April). It will run from 11am until 4pm.

Eligible customers should already have received an email offering them the chance to opt into this weekend’s trial. British Gas says more than 150,000 of its customers will have received an invite. You had until midday on Friday (28 April) to opt in.

If you have missed out on this Sunday’s running of the scheme, British Gas has said it will be conducting several more trials at some point soon. To be eligible to take part, you have to be a British Gas customer and have a smart meter.

To express an interest in being included in the scheme, you should fill out this registration form on the British Gas website.

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