Back in October, the National Grid warned that businesses and households in the UK could experience three-hour power cuts this winter due to the energy crisis and gas shortages. These strategic cuts would be an ‘unlikely’ scenario but would be carried out at peak times in the morning, or more likely between 4pm and 9pm in an effort to reduce the total energy consumption by around 5%.

In response to this, the National Grid launched a new off peak energy rebate scheme, Demand Flexibility Scheme, at the start of this month in response to the risk of blackouts this winter and the energy crisis. This scheme can help reduce energy consumption over peak times when the demand for energy is high, but how does it work and how much money could eligible homes and businesses save on bills if they sign up?

How Does the Demand Flexibility Scheme Work? 

This scheme is set to run from November to March 2023 and works by predicting when there will be a shortfall of energy. Participating energy suppliers will get 24 hours’ notice of a predicted shortfall and will then ask customers to curb their energy use at a certain time.

One way to lower your energy consumption is to avoid using appliances and products that use a lot of power, for example running dishwashers and tumble dryers earlier or later in the day or if you have an electric car, charging it outside the peak times.

Electric car plugged in and being charged off peak

You won’t need to switch off your heating or lighting and you can still use your oven to cook food but reducing your overall energy use wherever possible will help save power and will shave money off your bills in the long run.

Who is Eligible for the Scheme?

Currently, this scheme is being rolled out and implemented by energy suppliers and will be monitored using a smart meter, so only customers with smart meters will be able to take part in the scheme. Find out more about the suppliers that are known to be running the scheme and how much you could save on bills below.

British Gas

More than 3.5 million of its customers should be qualified, but the firm hasn’t provided any information on how to apply or how much you could be eligible to receive back. Please keep a watch on your emails and the British Gas website as registration should be up soon.

Ovo Energy

Ovo Energy, which is running its own trial version of the scheme, said that a typical household uses a fifth of their daily energy between 4pm and 7pm and customers could make a saving of up to £100 if they signed up to use energy at greener times of the day. Sadly, this version of the scheme isn’t a part of the Demand Flexibility Scheme and only 5,000 OVO customers will be able to participate in the trial. Those able to sign up will be informed by the company.

Octopus Energy Saving Sessions

According to the business, all Octopus smart meter users (about 1.4 million consumers) are eligible and can earn up to £100 in total by saving £4 per kWh compared to their average usage. Users are able to sign up on the energy supplier’s website.

Both E. On and EDF haven’t announced details of their schemes yet but have said they will run them. If you are interested in learning more about the scheme and your eligibility, it is best to check with your energy provider and their website for further updates.

Preparing for Potential Blackouts

The National Grid anticipates that this plan will prevent the need for blackout warnings this winter by reducing demand by around two gigawatts, or enough to power about 600,000 homes. However, blackouts could still be a possibility.

If you are worried about power outages affecting your business this winter, we can help. At the Shenton Group, we provide a complete generator rental service to commercial clients. Renting a diesel backup generator is a fantastic choice to explore if your organisation needs to maintain crucial operations, but don’t wait until the last minute. Read our guide on generator rental for your business here.

Speak to the UK’s Leading Technical Experts right away to hire a backup generator or to learn how to safeguard your company from power disruptions this winter.

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