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UK Grid To Pay Households For Using Less Energy During Cold Snap

UK customers will be paid if they use less energy at the peak hours on Monday evening if their provider has signed up to a new scheme for incentivizing energy saving, National Grid said. 

National Grid ESO announced on Sunday that it would activate the so-called Demand Flexibility Service live for the first time between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. local time to incentivize people to save energy during peak demand hours amid a cold snap in the UK.   

The Demand Flexibility Service has so far run five planned demonstration test events, and it will be the first time it will be used live to encourage savings and avoid strain on the power grid. 

Last month, National Grid ESO said that “Data from the first two events show that consumer engagement has exceeded expectations, with consumers overdelivering by over 35% against targets on both occasions.”

More than 1 million households and businesses have now signed up to participate, and 26 providers are currently involved in the Demand Flexibility Service, including major electricity suppliers such as British Gas, EoN, Octopus Energy, and EDF, National Grid says.

The cold winter weather in the UK in the past few days has raised the demand for gas and electricity, while wind power generation is expected to be lower than usual.

National Grid ESO also issued a notification on Sunday to warm three winter contingency coal units that have been on standby.

“This measure should give the public confidence in Monday’s energy supply,” National Grid said.

“Our forecasts show electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Monday evening. We have instructed coal-fired power units to be available to increase electricity supplies should it be needed tomorrow evening,” the system operator said on Sunday.

However, the ESO stressed that “These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need.”  

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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