Some households will be offered cash to turn off electrical devices tonight. A scheme run by the National Grid allows energy customers to save money by cutting their gas and electric at certain times of the day.

Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), operated by National Grid ESO, was launched last November with partnerships with Octopus, British Gas, and E.on. Customers must be with participating suppliers to sign up, according to WalesOnline.

It has been announced that National Grid ESO will activate its system for the first time this winter on Wednesday, November 29, when it will pay consumers for reducing their electricity usage during certain times. On Tuesday, November 28, National Grid tweeted that it would be activating the scheme between 5pm and 6.30pm on Wednesday, November 29, for those who have signed up for the scheme.

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It said this was due to electricity supply margins being "tighter than normal" tonight but it urged people not to be worried as electricity supplies were not at risk. It said: "Our forecasts show electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Wednesday evening.

"We are activating a live demand flexibility service event between 5-6.30 tomorrow (Wednesday, November 29.) It does not mean electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried.

"These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need." To qualify for the scheme you need a working smart meter that can send readings to your supplier automatically.

You will also have to cut your electricity usage at peak times. There are expected to be at least six of these "events" between now and the end of 2023, with more between January and March. These days and times will be announced in due course.

There is no set amount that you save - it depends on how much electricity you cut during these events. For the first six events, National Grid ESO is paying energy providers at least £3 per unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity saved, which is passed onto you if you cut usage during the required times. The amount of savings passed onto you depends on each supplier, with not all companies passing on the full amount.

Don't be expecting hundreds of pounds though - a survey of over 3,000 people who took part in last winter's schemes found 59% of respondents earned between £5 and £20 in total, with just 16% earning more than £20. The following providers are offering incentives for cutting usage, though how much you get as a customer will depend on the provider:

  • British Gas
  • E.on Next
  • EDF
  • Good Energy
  • Octopus Energy
  • Outfox the Market
  • Ovo Energy
  • Shell Energy
  • Utilita

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