Demand Flexibility Service: Are you eligible for National Grid payout?

Under a new scheme to help Britons cope amid the cost of living crisis, people will get discounts on their bills if they cut back back on their usage for a certain period.

A view of electric pylons in the Scottish Borders. Pictured on a cold snowy day in winter.  Pic Phil Wilkinson / Alamy
The recent cold weather means the National Grid has launched a discount scheme to protect electricity supplies. (Alamy)

About one million households in Britain will be paid to use less electricity on Monday evening.

Under a new scheme to help Britons cope amid the cost of living crisis, people will get discounts on their bills if they cut back back on their usage for a certain period.

The National Grid scheme, the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), is designed to avoid blackouts and reduce the pressure on energy supplies.

What is the National Grid electricity discount scheme?

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) allows Britons to get paid for using less electricity during certain peak periods.

It has been devised by the National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) to ease energy supply when demand is at its highest on cold winter days.

Watch: National Grid launches discount scheme to avoid blackouts

The scheme has only run in a test format so far, but will be open to about one million households on Monday in the hour between 5pm and 6pm.

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Customers will be rewarded with payments of as much as £20 a day if they delay using appliances such as ovens and washing machines in that hour-long slot.

The scheme will continue to operate on peak winter days during the period until the end of March.

It is hoped the scheme will save the average household £100 through the winter.

Who is eligible to take part?

To sign up for the Demand Flexibility Service, households in England, Scotland and Wales must have a smart meter, which give readouts every 30 minutes to energy providers.

A total of 26 energy suppliers have signed up to the service, including British Gas, EDF, E.On Next and Octopus Energy.

Eligible customers, who will have been contacted by their energy suppliers, can take part in as many or as few events as they like.

In this arranged photograph a smart meter displaying electricity usage is seen in a domestic property in south London on September 8, 2022. - New British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday unveiled plans to freeze sky-high domestic energy bills for two years to ease a cost-of-living crisis. (Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Customers with electricity smart meters are eligible for the National Grid discount scheme. (AFP via Getty Images)

They will get an alert the day before each event in which they are asked to confirm if they are taking part.

They can then earn credit on their bill by using less energy during the hour-long event to meet their previously set personal target.

What other measures are the National Grid taking?

Three UK coal plants have been ordered to begin warming up in case they are needed for the country’s energy supply as the cold snap bites.

The National Grid said it had given the instructions in light of forecasts showing electricity supply margins may be tighter than normal on Monday.

National Grid ESO said “people should not be worried” that electricity supplies are at risk.

In a tweet, it said: “These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need."

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