Households will be paid to cut electricity use for first time tonight
The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is activating its ‘demand flexibility service (DFS)’ for the first time this evening, in an effort to prevent blackouts.
More than a million households in Wales, Scotland and England will be paid to cut back their electricity between 5 and 6pm today as part of the emergency scheme.
The DFS allows the National Grid to access additional flexibility during times of peak demand, such as during the cold snap.
The scheme is being implemented as a precautionary measure to maintain a buffer of spare capacity necessary to ensure a steady electricity supply.
Twenty Six energy suppliers including Octopus Energy and EDF are supporting the scheme, which is open to households with up-to-date smart meters and signed up to the scheme via their supplier.
The DFS – which has only been used in tests until now – looks to reward homeowners for changing their electricity usage in a bid to avoid blackouts across winter.
It is among a range of tools designed to help manage the electricity system this winter.
In addition to activating the DFS, National Grid has also instructed back-up coal plants at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire and West Burton in Nottinghamshire to be available.
Despite activating the DFS, National Grid ESO has emphasised that this should not be interpreted as a sign of electricity supply risks.
They have reassured customers that there is no reason to worry and that these measures are in place to ensure a steady electricity supply during this time of increased demand.
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