Energy scheme which paid homes to reduce usage will return 'all year round'

An energy scheme which gives money back on bills during off peak hours could return all year round. 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.

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.”

READ MORE UK set to sizzle in Azores High heatwave which 'is as hot as Spain and Portugal'

The organisation has confirmed that DFS will not be used as a winter contingency service for the 2024/25 winter season. The ESO plans to consult with the industry on the proposed design before seeking regulatory approval from Ofgem.

Last year, DFS delivered over 3.7 GWh of electricity, with more than 2.6 million households and businesses participating to adjust their electricity consumption at key times. The expected excess generation available during peak demand is projected to be higher for winter 2024/25

It means need for DFS as a winter contingency service has decreased, prompting the ESO to evolve and expand the service to support high demand periods throughout the year. Energy suppliers and third-party providers can choose how much of the ESO payment to pass on to users.

Most are passing on at least 75 per cent, with some passing on the full amount. For the first six use-cutting events, the ESO paid energy suppliers and third-party providers at least £3 per unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity saved.