National Grid’s scheme to help customers reduce their energy bills will be running again this winter, but only some providers are offering it.
The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) is an incentive that allows eligible customers to earn rewards for shifting their energy usage outside of peak demand hours.
By doing so, it allows the National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) to manage supply through periods when demand is higher.
Around 1.6 million households and businesses participated in the scheme last year, and it helped provide around 350MW of flexibility to the ESO.
There are a number of providers signed up to the scheme, and here is the full list.
How to participate in the DFS
The ESO will run 12 tests between November and March 2024.
The first six of these tests will pay registered DFS providers, such as energy suppliers, aggregators, and third parties, a guaranteed minimum price of £3 per KWh, which they will pass onto customers through rewards, such as pounds, points, or prizes.
Households with a smart meter or business sites with half-hourly metering will be able to sign up through their energy supplier or the online providers/apps who are participating in the service.
Those who have signed up to take part can expect their registered provider to get in contact before a DFS event to let them know when the event will start.
The DFS tests usually run for one hour, but the live events can last as long as four hours. To be eligible to receive an incentive, people must reduce their energy use during the DFS event times.
Measures can include choosing to run power-hungry appliances, such as washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, electric showers and immersion heaters, before or after the ‘event’ or the following day.
Another option could be to reduce energy usage, such as using a microwave instead of the oven, during the event window.
When signing up to take part, households will need to authorise their provider to access their smart meter so they can read their data every half-hour for the duration of the service.