British Gas is launching its new energy reduction scheme for this winter called ‘Peak Save’ as part of the National Grid ESO service. The trial will test the potential for reducing demand on the grid whilst helping customers save on bills by asking households to reduce their usage during National Grid’s ‘turn-down’ events.
For every unit of electricity that customers save compared to their normal usage, British Gas expects to pay customers around £4. The scheme could potentially save customers as much as £100 over the course of the winter and will run between December 2022 and March 2023. Smart meter customers will be invited to take part in the trial by email and British Gas will be targeting over 100,000 in the initial trial phase.
"We are exploring how to make this scheme work best for our customers so that it fits in with their habits around the home. This approach to help manage residential electricity demand is likely to become a major feature of the market in years to come."
Chris O ‘Shea, Centrica CEO
British Gas will set customers a 30% reduction target per household to aim for and provide tips and advice on how customers can achieve their target, such as which appliances they could switch off or shift. For example, if a household normally uses a dishwasher or washing machine but waits until after the ‘turn-down’ event they would meet their target. Payments will be made as a bill credit within 7 working days based on kWh reductions.
The scheme is enabled by the new flexibility service National Grid ESO launched this winter which gives all UK energy suppliers the option to financially reward customers who reduce their electricity usage during times of peak demand.
Chris O ‘Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica, parent company of British Gas said, “The electricity grid is facing increased pressure and smart technology plays a key role in managing peak demand – reducing consumption has the added benefit of helping consumers save on their energy bills. We are exploring how to make this scheme work best for our customers so that it fits in with their habits around the home. This approach to help manage residential electricity demand is likely to become a major feature of the market in years to come. We’ll be taking learnings from this stage with the aim of using our scale to roll out to our wider customer base.
“We are committed to helping improve energy security in the UK and shifting demand is one part of that strategy. This year we have also reopened our Rough storage facility to store up to 30 billion cubic feet of gas for UK homes and businesses over this winter, boosting the UK’s energy resilience. In addition, our new gas supply agreement will see Equinor deliver to Centrica sufficient gas over the coming three winters to heat an additional 4.5 million homes.”
There is no obligation to take part in turn-down events and customers can opt out at any time. British Gas will contact customers by text no later than 6pm the day before an event, customers will need to opt-in to an event no later than 12am.
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