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'I get paid for using less electricity – and you could too'

Combat the cost-of-living crisis with minimal effort


energy saving
Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
March 8, 2023
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I first heard about the government's plan to pay people for using less money on an episode of This Morning, where they were discussing the new initiative called the National Grid Demand Flexibility Service, where energy companies will give you money back if you use less electricity during peak times.

I was intrigued by the scheme and pleasantly surprised when my energy provider E.ON Next sent me an email asking If I'd like to take part. Here's everything you need to know about getting paid to use less energy at home - and how you could start earning too…

energy event

Energy companies are running events 

How I coped using less electricity

After registering my interest, E.ON Next then sent me an email to tell me about one of the National Grid’s event days and I was asked if I would like to take part. A click of a button and it was set, on a particular day I had to try and use less electric between 5:30-6:30pm. They also sent a handy reminder an hour before the slot.

I first went around switching off all of the unnecessary plugs I had left on (there was a surprising amount) and I also powered down everything in my home office which I usually don’t do each night. Instead of my spare room being lit up like Blackpool illuminations with standby lights, it was in total darkness and to be honest it made me feel a twinge of shame for not having done this before.

microwave

Turn off unncessary plugs 

It certainly makes you realise how much electricity you are mindlessly using. Of course, things like the fridge and WiFi stayed on, but our microwave for example doesn't even have a clock so there's no harm done in us switching it off at the wall when not in use.

How much I earned by cutting my electricity usage

After the hour was up, I was sent another email to say that the event had ended, and they were totting up the results. A few days later an email triumphantly informed me of my success explaining that I had reduced my energy consumption by 83 per cent resulting in £1.20 credit back.

energy use

I made money but cutting down my electricity 

The next time I did it, I planned to be out for most of the hour (a great excuse to actually go on those post-work walks I always promise myself I'll do) and it meant that I reduced consumption by 91 per cent this time which resulted in £2.05 credit. Yeah, it's not millions but it is free money during the cost-of-living crisis, so I'll take it. And it really wasn't that hard to do.

How to sign up to the National Grid Demand Flexibility Service

It's completely free to be part of the programme and while I was contacted by my energy supplier, you could always get in touch with yours if you haven’t had any correspondence. E.ON Next, British Gas, Octopus Energy and Ovo Energy are all part of the new scheme.

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