Despite a lackluster summer, many budget-conscious individuals in the UK are relieved to have saved on heating bills. As the cost of living crisis looms, thoughts turn to the approaching autumn and winter seasons and how they might impact finances. Fortunately, there’s good news: the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), a program that rewards households for reducing energy use during peak hours, is making a comeback. In this article, we’ll explore what this service is and how you can sign up to benefit.
What is the Demand Flexibility Service?
The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) made its debut in January 2023 and ran until March. This initiative, involving 26 UK energy providers, emerged as a response to the global energy crisis. In late 2022, experiments were conducted, paving the way for the service’s national launch on January 23, 2023. During this period, customers were encouraged to cut back on energy usage for an hour, with participants receiving payments of up to £20 each time. Impressively, around 1.6 million households and businesses collectively earned nearly £11 million by participating in the scheme.
The Return of DFS
National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO), a subsidiary of the operator, has confirmed that DFS will be relaunched in the upcoming colder months, pending approval from Ofgem, the government regulator for electricity and natural gas markets.
Participants in the National Grid service can potentially earn at least £3 for every kilowatt-hour saved during six of the 12 tests. However, keep in mind that your energy supplier may retain a portion of this amount to cover testing and administrative costs. During the eight test runs in 2022, households received up to £70.
How to Sign Up for DFS
To join the DFS, you’ll need to wait for Ofgem’s approval of the service’s second deployment. Once that happens, details on how to participate will be released. Last year, customers with participating energy suppliers could sign up directly, either online or by contacting service agents. One essential requirement to participate is having a smart meter.
Jake Rigg, Corporate Affairs Director at ESO, emphasizes, “The ESO will be reintroducing the Demand Flexibility Service for this winter and is keen for more consumers, both large and small, to get involved.” He adds, “Across last winter, the Demand Flexibility Service successfully demonstrated the interest of consumers and businesses in playing a more active role in balancing our electricity needs and to be rewarded with savings for their action in the process.”
As we anticipate the colder seasons and the potential strain on our budgets, the return of the Demand Flexibility Service offers a silver lining. By participating in this initiative, not only can you contribute to energy conservation but also earn some extra money. Stay tuned for updates on how to sign up once Ofgem gives the green light. Get ready to save energy and boost your income while helping to address the energy crisis.