Octopus pays over £1mln to households that reduce their energy consumption during the trial

Octopus Energy claimed it paid more than PS1mln customers in a trial of the UK’s demand flexibility service. This allows households to reduce their usage at the request of the National Grid.

According to Octopus, 200,000 Octopus customers reduced their usage by 59% between 5pm and 6pm on November 15th, resulting in a collective savings of 108MW.

Octopus, one of the UK’s largest energy suppliers, said that this was equivalent to turning off a gas-fired electricity station.

Customers received £1 per hour, plus money saved. The highest-paid cutters were paid an average £4.27.

Alex Schoch, Octopus flexibility’s head of sales, stated that giving consumers the chance to get a bargain is a win for everyone: it cleans up the grid and cuts costs while delivering greater energy security.

“Like the yellow-label products that are priced to clear in supermarkets, it doesn’t require everyone to participate, but those who do receive cheaper energy for their own use and help to reduce waste and lower costs for everyone else.”

The scheme has more than 400,000 smart meter customers, who signed up earlier this week.

According to the report, similar savings could be made from only one supplier’s customer base in the UK, which could meet the UK’s flexibility requirements. Demand could also be reduced by 1GW if all smart-meter customers took part.

National Grid’s electricity system operational (ESO) wing asked customers to reduce their usage between Friday and Monday due to tighter domestic energy markets.

British Gas’s owner Centrica PLC, Drax Group (LSE DRX), Shell PLC, Shell PLC (LSE :SHEL, NY:SHEL), Shell PLC’s retail wing and EDF, E.ON, and OVO are some of the other energy companies that have signed up for the service. It ultimately aims at helping to balance energy supply and demand.