Energy scheme giving money back on bills during off peak hours could return all year round

-Credit: (Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)
-Credit: (Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)


A winter energy scheme that paid billpayers for reducing their usage is set to undergo a major reform.

The Electricity Systems Operator (ESO) has confirmed that the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) will change so as to no longer only be available during winter. Instead, the ESO has proposed to change the way the scheme works so that it supports stress on the national grid all year round and not just during the winter period.

However, it is not yet clear how this change will be available for energy customers, but the ESO said it will work closely with the industry to finalise the reform. It comes after analysis from the ESO predicted that there will be more excess energy to use during peak times in periods of cold weather.

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Kayte O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer at the ESO, said: “The Demand Flexibility Service has been a national first in empowering households and businesses to embrace energy flexibility and to be rewarded in the process. As we transition away from requiring DFS as a winter contingency service it is only right that we look to the future of what this service can deliver.

"We look forward to working closely with industry over the coming months to deliver a service that makes flexibility part of everyday life and that can unlock the benefits for participating consumers and society at large.”

The DFS previously allowed suppliers to reward customers for reducing their energy usage during peak times in the winter to help reduce overall stress on the national grid supply. However, eligible customers previously had to have a smart meter installed and be with a supplier who was signed up for the scheme to benefit from it.