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Brits could get £100 for cutting energy use as part of new scheme

Brits could get £100 for cutting energy use as part of new scheme

Brits could get money from switching off their electrical appliances at peak times this winter.

Brits could get money from switching off their electrical appliances at peak times this winter.

That's right, a tiny slither of good news in the current cost of living crisis - those with smart meters could earth around £100 by cutting their use.

The news comes as the National Grid warned on Thursday, 6 October, that the UK could face three-hour-long blackouts, as gas and electricity demand rises.

Households could save by reducing use at peak times.
Alamy / Stephen Frost

The scarcity of gas and electricity supplies has - rightly or wrongly - been attributed to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine; this, coupled with the increase in demand for household energy during the winter means that Britain could soon face issues.

To combat this, the National Grid is expected to offer households money back, in return for cutting their energy supplies.

If confirmed, the scheme is expected to run from next month (November), until March 2023.

Under the scheme, households are expected to be told of a time slot when they can earn money by not using appliances - most likely between 4pm and 7pm.

And energy company Octopus predicted that for some, this figure could reach up to £10 a day.

Energy costs are set to soar this winter.
Westend61 GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo

The cuts will help energy companies account for any shortages and hopefully avoid blackouts, but some have argued that its implementation is a gradual slide toward conditioning people to live a certain way.

Octopus chief executive Greg Jackson attempted to explain: "Instead of cutting off whole chunks of the country if we are short of gas, we can reward people for using less energy at times of peak demand."

The energy giant ran a trial of the scheme in February and March this year and saved an average of 0.7 kilowatt hours.

And the firm expects it to be a hit amongst customers, with Jackson going on to add: "If you go to the supermarket and you buy stuff that's reduced to clear, you're saving less than a pound. People respond to that."

However, as observed with the rollout of the covid vaccines, incentivising people to behave within certain parameters brings up some moral questions.

While the news will offer comfort to some, it's still not enough, given that the 1 October price increase will many to choose between heating and eating this winter.

Still, despite this potential pay back scheme and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss announcing a two-year freeze on the energy price cap earlier this month, energy prices have still jumped from £1,277 last year to an estimated £2,500, meaning people will still be paying through the nose as we rely on heating to get through the colder months.

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website. 

Featured Image Credit: Christian Horz / Visuals Stock / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, UK News, Money, Martin Lewis