Energy giant predicts new service could see customers earn up to £100 if they curb demand during peak times, as National Grid confirms scheme will not be activated today
OVO Energy has today become the latest energy company to formally join National Grid ESO's Demand Flexibility Service, confirming that its customers with smart meters could earn up to £100 over the winter if they take steps to reduce demand during periods when the grid is under pressure.
The move came as the grid operator yesterday signalled it could trigger the scheme for the first time in response to low levels of renewables generation and power imports from France, before this morning confirming that "demand was not at risk" and there was no need to activate the service.
National Grid has successfully trialled the service on two occasions and is now gearing up to deploy it at full scale in response to periods when power supplies could struggle to meet peak demand.
Major suppliers such as Octopus and British Gas have confirmed they are to take part and today OVO announced that it too would participate in the scheme.
"We're pleased to be joining the National Grid Electricity System Operator's Demand Flexibility Scheme and launching another trial which rewards customers for their efforts in making small but significant changes to the way they consume energy," said Raman Bhatia, CEO of OVO. "We know that winter is going to be a challenging time for many, so relieving that pressure where we can, and supporting our customers has never been more important."
OVO said its participation in the scheme would run from 8th December 2022 to 31 March 2023 and would see customers notified when they can earn money by reducing demand at periods of peak demand.
Customers can make a minimum of £1 for every kWh shifted below their personal target and then each month a credit bill will be shared with all notification rewards collated, OVO said. An average home could earn around £50 in total, but payments could reach £100 over the course of the winter depending on levels of usage and participation.
Initially, the scheme will be open to 15,000 OVO customers, but the company said it is planned to extend the offer to more customers after the first month. Customers will need to opt-in to receiving email notifications by 11.59pm on that same day in order to be eligible for the reward the following day, it explained.
The news comes a day after the government announced it is to extend the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) energy efficiency grant scheme to cover a wider range of households with the launch of the £1bn ECO+ scheme. The government positioned the extension of the scheme and the accompanying launch of a new energy-saving public information campaign as part of its push to deliver on a new target to cut UK energy demand by 15 per cent by 2030
However, Bloomberg reported that Ministers have been warned by civil servants that the government's current energy efficiency policies, including the new ECO+ scheme, remain badly underpowered and billions pounds of additional funding will be required if the new 15 per cent target is to be met.
* This article was originally published here