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Households could be paid for using less energy from tomorrow

Households could be paid for using less energy from tomorrow
Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

The energy-saving scheme from the National Grid returns tomorrow, which pays households money when they’re able to use less energy.

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) starts again on Wednesday 1 November and those who opt in to the sessions and successfully reduce their electricity consumption will be paid as a reward.

The scheme began last year after fears grew over potential energy blackouts following on from the Ukraine war. On average participating households could save around £100 on their energy bills.

Several energy providers offer the scheme which is available to those who sign up via their supplier. See the National Grid registered providers’ list to find out if your supplier is taking part.

But it is also available from comparison website Uswitch and you don’t need to be with a specific energy provider to sign up.

You’ll just need to download the free Utrack app and, most important of all, you must have a smart meter.

Sessions can come at short notice but Uswitch expects there will be at least two every month between now and March 2024.

During the sessions, which are usually set for a few hours in an evening during peak energy use to cut pressure on the grid, if households manage to save energy by avoiding using things like the dishwasher or washing machine, they will earn money back.

Savings will then be paid in full when the scheme ends after March 2024.

Full savings will be passed on

The site said it will pass on the full amount of money it is paid by the National Grid to those who have signed up.

This amount can change but it’s usually around £3 per kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy saved during a session. While the amount of energy used will depend on the appliances in a household, the average dishwasher uses between 1.2 and 1.5 kWh per cycle.

Energy providers – or any other company running the scheme – can set the amount of money they give back to those who have signed up. So it’s well worth checking that you’ll get the full amount before committing to a session.

Households can only sign up to one session with one energy provider, or other company, and if they opt into more than one, they may be disqualified from taking part.

‘Households have changed their energy habits’

Natalie Mathie, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “We launched Utrack and the Utrack Money Back service to help households understand their energy usage and make the right choices for their home, as well as to cut back on energy consumption in a safe and manageable way.

“Households have changed their energy habits over the past few years, and the National Grid is rewarding them for their efforts.

“It’s important to sign up with Utrack as soon as possible so you can take part in every session and start saving.

“Anyone with a smart meter display unit can take part thanks to Utrack, no matter who their energy provider is. We’re also passing on the full savings for those who qualify.”