£1m paid to Octopus Energy customers as part of power saving scheme

Supplier says 400,000 customers took part, reducing their electricity use for a designated 90-minute period

More than £1m was paid to energy customers with Octopus Energy on Tuesday as part of a power saving scheme.

The energy supplier said more than 400,000 customers took part by reducing their electricity use between 4.30pm and 6pm.

National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Scheme kicked in for the first time on Monday amid cold temperatures, meaning more energy was being used while less energy was being generated by wind power.

There was also uncertainty over how much power Britain could import through undersea cables from Europe.

Coal-fired power stations in North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire were put on standby in case supplies ran low, but were later stood down.

It had been feared that the mixture of weather conditions, demand and generation issues could lead to blackouts.

Octopus, British Gas, EDF and E.ON are all taking part in the scheme. It is only available to households with smart meters.

The average customer was paid £2.50 in points for reducing their usage by an average of 60%. The top 5% were paid £15 in points. The Octopus deal can see the points turned into cash, “prizes” or donated to a fund for customers in need.

More energy was saved on Tuesday, when the payment was larger, than on Monday, the firm revealed. Less than £1m was paid out on Monday.

Energy firms had advised that customers could delay cooking their evening meal, or putting loads of washing on – as cookers and washing machines can use lots of electricity.

The total amount of energy saved was about 250MWh (megawatt hours) nationwide, the same as the city of Liverpool going off grid for an hour, PA Media said.

After being in action for two days, the scheme was not triggered for Wednesday. There had been trials before it was used properly for the first time this week. It will be in place until March 2023, the National Grid has said.


Harry Taylor

The GuardianTramp

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