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British Gas extends its half-price electricity scheme

British Gas extends its half-price electricity scheme
Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

The British Gas ‘PeakSave’ scheme which gives customers a 50% discount on their electricity use on Sundays has been extended for another 14 weeks.

It will now run until the end of December and over the remaining 14 Sundays, customers could save an average of £30.

It comes as several energy providers are set to launch similar schemes this winter to encourage customers to use less energy in peak times, to reduce the pressure on the national grid.

Customers who sign up can access the half-price electricity between 11am and 4pm every Sunday until 31 December. It’s for new and existing customers of the PeakSave scheme and any savings made are shown as a credit on customer bills.

While customers do not have to change their energy habits, those that do and use more electricity on a Sunday, instead of other days in the week, could save money.

Here’s everything we know about it so far.

How does Peak Save work?

PeakSave is British Gas’s own scheme to encourage its customers to shift their energy usage to Sundays. It’s for customers with a smart meter and new customers are able to sign up.

Between 11am and 4pm on Sundays, those who are signed up get half-price electricity costs.

They pay as usual for the energy and are then credited back the money on their energy bill within two weeks. There is no discount applicable on their standing charge, just the unit rate of electricity used.

Those who have signed up have their meter readings taken every half an hour. They will get the Sunday discount automatically while the scheme is running, and they don’t need to register for each Sunday session.

When did it first start?

British Gas ran a trial earlier this year of its energy reduction scheme. It was called PeakSave Winter and it was part of the National Grid ESO service trials. This involved asking customers to reduce their electricity usage during certain times of the day. This trial ran from 1 December 2022 and 31 March 2023.

It then began its PeakSave Sunday scheme in the summer, and 250,000 customers are already signed up. Today, it has confirmed its extension to the end of December.

What are the potential savings?

Customers received more than £1.8m in total at the start of the year and this is an average of £28.56 per customer.

It said it estimates they could save an average of £29.25 between now and the end of December with the extended scheme.

These savings over the 14 days come from a range of different activities. Drinking 10 cups of tea, for example, on those Sundays (instead of another day of the week) would save 99p while one hour of using an electric hob would save £4.24.

The company said it has paid almost £1.3m out to over 250,000 customers taking part in the Sunday scheme since it was launched last year.

It has also saved 52 tonnes of carbon emissions and moved 1,116 MWH of electricity consumption to Sundays from other days in the week.

How is it connected to the National Grid?

The National Grid ESO launched a Demand Flexibility Service last year. It was created to reduce pressure on the national grid, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and fears over energy blackouts in periods of high demand.

It is now set to re-launch the service for this winter and British Gas has said it will also offer its customers PeakSave Winter as part of it.

Last year, energy providers could sign up to the scheme and then events took place, which were periods of time in which customers were encouraged to use less electricity. If they managed to do this, they then received money back on their bills.