Free electricity if individual consumption cut goals are achieved in certain periods. This is the prize for British households participating in the pilot project conceived by National Grid ESO, the operator of the British electricity system, with the energy supplier Octopus Energ.
The Financial Times reports that UK households participating in the project will be offered financial incentives to limit their electricity use during periods of peak demand.
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Participating families will be asked to achieve individual consumption reduction goals during a maximum of 10 time windows of 2 hours each and between 9-11 in the morning, 16:30 and 18:30 and the midnight-2 in the morning shift. Families will be notified the day before and only one event will occur per day. If customers achieve their goals, the electricity used during those two-hour windows will be free.
The two-month pilot project aims to test how consumers can help balance the power grid and potentially reduce the need for new power plants. The climate change Committee, an independent organisation advising the UK Government, has warned that electricity consumption will have to become increasingly "flexible" as the country builds more capacity to generate clean electricity such as offshore wind. The UK has committed to decarbonising its energy system by 2035 as part of a wider target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero emissions by 2050. Currently, gas-fired power stations meet the majority of electricity demand in the UK while renewables such as wind and solar are not depopulating. Last year, gas accounted for 37% of Britain's electricity generation, making it the single largest source.
Sources: FT, National Grid ESO
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