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National Grid Launches Energy Bill Discount Scheme

Ellen Knight November 25, 2022

In an attempt to avoid blackouts this winter, the National Grid is trialling discounts on energy bills for households that reduce their energy usage during ‘peak time’ periods.

The operator says that this could save some households as much as £100.

There will be 12 ‘trial days’ taking place between November and March, intended to gauge customer response. The customers that take part in the scheme will be issued with a 24-hour notice of the test.

They will be asked to limit their electricity usage during ‘peak time’ – a one-hour slot likely between 16:00 and 19:00, decided by the National Grid.

This could mean not using a tumble-dryer in favour of a clothes horse, choosing a microwaveable meal instead of using the oven, or not watching television for the period indicated.

See also: Are Students Eligible For The £400 Energy Grant?

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Smart meters

However, it comes with a caveat – only homes with smart meters installed will be able to be involved. Fewer than half of households in England, Wales, and Scotland have one.

Smart meters – instead of standard electricity and gas meters – send your usage information directly to your energy supplier.

According to suppliers, this means you only pay for what you use, and make it easier for customers to monitor – or limit – their energy usage in real-time.

The National Grid has announced that energy suppliers taking part will be paid £3 for every kilowatt-hour throughout the trial period.

The suppliers can then decide if the money is credited to customers’ accounts, or taken directly off their energy bills.

Will there be blackouts?

The National Grid has previously stated to the BBC that blackouts would be a “last resort” option.

Its CEO, John Pettigrew, said: “There could be energy shortfalls in the UK and we will manage that very carefully,” but clarified that “this isn’t a time for people to panic.”

He said that the National Grid’s “base assumption” is that the UK’s fuel supplies should be sufficient enough to prevent any total blackouts this winter, but that there is a possibility of “short rolling power cuts” during the coldest months.

In October, the National Grid warned that households “could lose power for up to three hours at a time” if the country’s fuel supplies are low.

Read next: Tips For Keeping Warm This Winter As Energy Bills Rise

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Ellen is a freelance journalist studying MA Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff University. Her work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue and Al Jazeera, and tends to focus on politics and current affairs. Her involvement in student radio station Burn FM lead to an interview she conducted winning Student Radio Moment of the Year in 2022. She has been writing for Freshered since February 2022. You can follow her on Twitter @ellenmjknight