Octopus Energy has called on the National Grid ESO to stop burning coal and instead use consumer energy consumption flexibility to reduce demands on the energy grid.

The company implemented its ‘Saving Sessions’ – enabled by the National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) in October 2022. The scheme offered financial incentives for consumers to reduce electricity demand over peak periods. In April, Octopus said that their customers had displaced almost 2GW of electricity demand.

Octopus said its ‘Saving Sessions’ proved that paying users to shift usage (“consumer flexibility”) can remove the need to use coal fired power plants.

Coal mine

“Paying coal plants adds £400 million to bills – whilst paying customers could push bills down by a hundred million,” the company said.

Octopus is publishing a new White Paper showing that demand flexibility is a “dramatically cheaper and cleaner alternative”. Last winter, National Grid ESO paid up to £395 million to keep coal power plants on standby, Octopus continued.

Consumer flexibility could provide the same benefits to the grid as keeping coal on standby for a quarter of the cost – around £100 million, according to Octopus.

The company’s white paper looked at the results of their demand flexibility scheme in which over 700,000 customers with smart meters shifted around 1.9GWh of electricity at peak times. “The top 5% of ‘Saving Sessions’ participants earned over £40 over winter and 96% of customers surveyed said they are interested in participating in the scheme again,” Octopus said.

Read more: Current+

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