The Demand Flexibility Service involves households with smart meters minimising their electricity usage during peak hours, with payments on offer varying depending on how much energy a person saves.
There will be at least six test events for the scheme with payments of £3 per kilowatt hour saved, with plans for a total of 12 test events.
Mr Lewis said on his BBC podcast this week: “They pioneered it last year and it’s back this year. The aim is to balance supply and peak demand in order to reduce the need to fire up fossil fuel [power] plants.
“To do it, you’re going to need a smart meter and it must be set up to do 30-minute readings, but if you’ve got a smart meter, most of them will be able to do so.”
Mr Lewis said he surveyed 3,000 people who used the service last winter, and almost eight in 10 people said they had a good experience and would recommend doing it.
Speaking of the how much a person could be paid through the scheme, he said: “It’s quite a positive thing to do, although the amount of money you get isn’t big. Most people got between £5 and £20, 16 percent of people got over £20, only three percent of people got over £50.
“This isn’t about huge money but people said they enjoyed the process and they got a feel good factor from knowing they were doing something good for the environment and trying to help protect the energy supply across the country.
“The most common things people cut back were simply shifting their usage of their ovens and their washing machine and their tumble dryer outside of peak time, which is usually about 4pm to 8pm.”
These are the suppliers and third party apps who are taking part in the scheme:
- Axle Energy
- British Gas
- Chameleon Technology (as Ivie)
- Easee UK (via Axle Energy)
- E.ON Next Energy
- GivEnergy Software (via Axle Energy)
- Good Energy
- 100 Green (via SMS – Solo Energy)
- Hildebrand Technology
- Hugo Energy App (via SMS – Solo Energy)
- Loop (via SMS – Solo Energy)
- Octopus Energy
- Ohme (via Axle Energy)
- OVO Energy
- Perse Technology
- Power Rewards App (via Orange Power)
- Scottish Power (via Equiwatt)
- SMS (Solo Energy)
- Shell Energy Retail via SMS (Solo Energy)
- Uswitch Ltd (via Hildebrand)
- Utilita Energy.
How do I take part in the Demand Flexibility Service?
Energy suppliers are contacting customers to invite them to take part. If a person has not received an invite, they can contact their supplier directly to sign up.
Suppliers who are not taking part this year may have their own version of the scheme where a household is paid for reducing their usage during peak hours.
People can receive the payments in different ways, such as with a cash payment or in points, discounts or prizes.
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