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British Gas will trial ‘Peak Save’, a home-energy reduction scheme this winter

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 ‘Peak Save’ is designed to figure out how to reduce demand on the national energy grid by asking households to use less power during specific times, known as ‘turn-down’ events.

British Gas said it would set a target for each participating household to cut its energy use by of 30%. Then it would reward households with a credit on their bills.

The supplier said that for every unit of electricity below their normal usage, it would discount bills by around £4 in a program that it said could save customers as much as £100 over the colder months.

The program is to start this month and run through until March. More than 100,000 customers with smart meters will be invited by email to take part in the first phase and will be given tips to reaching the goal, such as delaying using a dishwasher or a washing machine.

British Gas said customers can opt out of the trial at any time and that bills would be credited within seven working days based on kWh reductions.

UK energy providers are allowed to financially reward clients who cut back on electricity usage during periods of peak demand.

Chris O’Shea, chief executive of Centrica, which owns 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.”

He added that the management of home electricity demand was “likely to become a major feature of the market in years to come.”