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Blog Post 24 November 2023 Updated 30 November 2023

Demand Flexibility Service: get rewards for using less energy

Are you wondering what the Demand Flexibility Service is?

Have you heard it offers rewards that you can use towards paying for your energy bills?

Keep reading to discover the top 10 things you need to know about the service. 

How does the Demand Flexibility Service work?

The service has 12 events that run between November 2023 and March 2024. Each event lasts for around an hour, and they usually happen in the evenings when demand for electricity is at its peak.  If you sign up to take part, you’ll be asked to reduce your electricity use during each scheduled event.  

What do I get for taking part in the Demand Flexibility Service?

To thank you for taking part, energy suppliers are offering their customers rewards. These include pounds or points that you can use towards paying for your energy bills. Rewards vary depending on your supplier, but the more electricity you save during each event the greater your rewards will be. 

Who can take part in the Demand Flexibility Service?

You’ll need to:

  • Live or have a business in England, Scotland, or Wales.
  • Get your energy from a supplier that’s registered to take part in the service. You can also take part using registered third-party apps that connect to your smart meter. Remember, you can only take part with one registered provider.
  • Have a working smart meter so your energy supplier can accurately and quickly measure your energy use. If you don’t have one, read our advice on getting a smart meter.

How to I sign up to the Demand Flexibility Service?

How you sign up depends on your energy supplier or chosen provider. Some will contact you via email or in-app notifications. Others have a form for you to register your interest.

Check this list of registered providers and follow the link to the relevant website to see how to sign up for the service.

Your supplier might have already contacted you about the service so look out for emails or in-app notifications. There’s no penalty if you decide not to take part.

How do I know when each event takes place?

If you’ve registered to take part in the service, your energy supplier or chosen provider will let you know when an event is scheduled. You’ll get a notification telling you the date and time of each event – this might be on the same day or the day before.

Remember, you must opt-in to each event separately to earn rewards. 

What can I do to save energy during a flexibility event?

  • Delay using your biggest energy consuming appliances during each event. The top energy consuming appliances at home include your washing machine, tumble dryer, and dishwasher.
  • Use appliances that consume less energy during an event. For example, use your microwave instead of your oven. 
  • Move your usual activities to before or after the event, including cooking or charging your electric car.

Turning off your TV or lights won’t make that big of an energy saving. You don’t need to sit in silence or in the dark during an event. 

Which company runs the Demand Flexibility Service?

The Demand Flexibility Service is run by the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and energy suppliers help to deliver it. The ESO is responsible for making sure there’s enough electricity available to power Great Britain whenever it’s needed.  

Why do we need this service?

When demand for electricity is high, sometimes there’s not enough for everyone who needs it. In these situations, the ESO has to switch on fossil fuel power plants. These power plants are bad for the environment and make energy bills higher for us all.  

The Demand Flexibility Service reduces the need to turn on these power plants. It also helps the ESO maintain a steady supply of electricity, helping us all save money on our bills and lower our collective carbon footprint. 

Is the demand flexibility service new?

No – it first launched in winter 2022, and 1.6 million households and businesses took part. Together they saved over 3,300MWh of electricity, which is enough to power 10 million homes across Great Britain.

What other ways can I use less energy at peak times of the day?

If we were more flexible with how we used our electricity it could lead to an average household saving of hundreds of pounds each year. The UK Government is currently looking at how to make this possible. In the meantime, there are other things you can do:

  • Check if your energy supplier offers a time-of-use tariff. This can help you save on your energy bills by shifting your electricity use to times when it’s cheaper and greener. 
  • Use National Grid’s WhenToPlugIn app to check when more of the electricity grid is powered by wind and solar. This means you can choose to use more low carbon electricity.

And remember, check if your energy supplier or chosen provider is registered to take part in the Demand Flexibility Service and sign up in time for the next scheduled event.  

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Last updated: 30 November 2023