The National Grid will offer households a hefty £3 per kilowatt hour (kwh) to shift their electricity usage to off-peak times, as it ramps up its plans to reduce demand stave off rolling blackouts this winter.
Its electricity system operator will encourage energy users to turn on washing machines and kitchen appliances late at night, rather than in the evening.
This could provide customers with savings of up to £100 per year, and is a six-fold incentive increase on previous plans to provide 52p per kwh savings over winter.
The National Grid raised the prospect of rolling three-hour blackouts across the country in its winter outlook.
This was the worst case scenario, based on Russia blocking gas supplies into Europe, sustained cold weather, and insufficient supplies available from the continent.
In response to the looming challenges, the electricity system operator has bolstered its plans for businesses and households to participate in its “demand flexibility service”, which launches next month.
So far, only two large energy suppliers have publicly confirmed they will take part – Ovo Energy and Octopus Energy – which piloted the initiative earlier this year.
The Guardian has reported that E.ON is also planning to sign up.
Alongside the risk of blackouts, households are paying record energy bills this winter – with average energy users expected to cough up £2,500 per year over the coldest months of the year.
The sums would be even higher without the Government’s costly Energy Price Guarantee, with the energy price cap set at £3,549 per year for the current quarter.
Both Cornwall Insight and Auxilione forecast the price cap will be above £4,000 per year – when the support package is now expected to end next April, after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt slashed its timeframe from two years to six months.