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UK offers to pay residents to save energy amid cold snap

Jan 23, 2023


As residents of the United Kingdom deal with a late January cold snap, British utility company National Grid is asking for help with saving energy. The company asked its customers to participate in its Demand Flexibility Service from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Monday night.

The service rewards people, usually via money off their bills, for turning off appliances such as ovens and dishwashers during a specific period when electricity demand is high. It was launched late last year amid concerns over the potential of rolling blackouts, with Monday serving as the first time it has officially been implemented. More than a million households and business are signed up to the service.

“If we can reduce demand by rewarding participating customers to turn down when we need them to, it means we might not have to bring on expensive and polluting fossil fuel generators,” according to the National Grid website. “This saves carbon and also saves all consumers money. And in times of system stress, when margins are tight, it could also help us avoid an emergency response.”

In addition to asking UK residents to save energy during the cold snap, National Grid had also asked that coal-fired power plants be fired up to serve as back up power. That request was eventually taken back. A spokesman for National Grid told Reuters the supply picture had improved since it issued the notice.

Below freezing temperatures have been recorded across much of the UK in recent days. The country’s national weather service issued severe weather warnings for snow and ice last week.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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These London residents woke up to brutal cold this morning — with sub-freezing temperatures recorded throughout much of the U-K.
With the cold snap expected to continue — the British government is asking its citizens to help out.
From 5 to 6 P-M tonight — local time — the U-K will be implementing its Demand Flexibility Service for the first time ever.
The service offers financial incentives to people if they agree to use less power during crunch periods.
An official with National Grid said people can take advantage of these incentives by doing things like holding off on cooking or washing clothes until after 6 p-m.
More than a million British households have signed up to the service ahead of tonight.
National Grid has also asked for three coal-powered generators to be warmed up in case they are needed.
The generators were last put on stand-by last month — but were not used.