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Households Could Be Offered Cheaper Energy For Cutting Usage At Specific Times

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Households Could Be Offered Cheaper Energy For Cutting Usage At Specific Times

Energy bills are continuing to soar, but a new scheme could offer people discounts for cutting their usage at specific times.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has added to the rising cost of living by exacerbating turbulence in international energy prices, and there are fears short supplies could lead to blackouts this coming winter.

But a new initiative from the National Grid's electricity system operator (ESO) could reduce this risk - and energy bills - by incentivising a reduction in use during peak windows.

A 'successful' trial was run in February and March, when 100,000 Octopus Energy customers weren't charged for the energy they used in specific timeframes - so long as they kept it below a predetermined limit.

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The idea, known as 'demand shifting', aims to encourage people to carry out activities such as using the washing machine and charging electric vehicles at off-peak times.

It is hoped it could help families to reduce their energy bills. Credit: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov
It is hoped it could help families to reduce their energy bills. Credit: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov

Households pay an average of 28.34p for each kilowatt-hour of electricity they use, but could instead potentially be paid as much as £6 for each kilowatt-hour that they avoid using at peak times, according to initial proposals seen by The Times.

Millions of households could now be added to the scheme, though a smart meter is required to take part.

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Demand shifting is being explored by ESO as a means of working towards the net-zero target, and it is hoped it could benefit those who take part and consumers as a whole by reducing bills.

An ESO spokesperson told LADbible that the idea could bring about a range of benefits.

They said: "Demand shifting has the potential to save consumers money, reduce carbon emissions and offer greater flexibility on the system and some forms of demand management are already used today to help balance the system.

"We recently ran a few small successful trials with Octopus to see what can be achieved from an aggregated consumer demand response and there's now more work to do with industry to consider how we can roll out the service.

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"Innovation that drives consumers value and reduces carbon emissions will always be deployed as swiftly as possible, in a tested, safe and reliable way."

It comes as Boris Johnson has reiterated that the 'price of freedom is worth paying' and the UK must be prepared to support Ukraine's fight against Russia for as long as it takes - despite the cost.

Speaking at the G7 summit in Germany, he told the BBC: "I think that the economic impacts on the UK will start to abate, we'll find ways around things and some of the cost pressures will start to come down.

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"But just in terms of staying the course, imagine if you didn't. Imagine if we allowed Putin to get away with the violent acquisition of huge chunks of another country, a sovereign, independent territory – the lessons for that would be absolutely chilling in all of the countries of the former Soviet Union, you can see what's happening in the Baltic countries already.

"But the read across would also be felt in east Asia, as well.

"So, in terms of the economic effects of that, that would mean long-term instability, it would mean anxiety across the world."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: UK News, Money

Jake Massey
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