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Sunday 3rd March 2024

Can I earn money by using less energy?

Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panelist Abby Ward, explains to one reader how they might be able to earn a few extra pounds by changing their energy habits.


Q. I’ve heard I might be paid if I use less energy or switch my washing to a Sunday. How can I sign up and how much could I earn?

A. You’re right, there is such a system and it’s the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO)’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS).

It allows households and businesses to earn rewards for shifting their electricity use during set DFS events.

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This means that the ESO can better balance the national grid at peak times over the winter, such as when people get home from work and start cooking their evening meal.

It started last winter, when more than 1.6m households and businesses took part in the ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service. This meant that energy suppliers saved over 3,300MWh of electricity, enough to power 10 million homes across Great Britain.

The ESO has confirmed that the DFS will run again this winter, and the first of 12 tests has recently taken place, with the rest running through to March 2024.

Those who sign up to take part in the free service, must opt-in to each event and reduce their energy use during a DFS event – usually lasting an hour. Those that do will be eligible to receive a reward offered by their provider, which is usually a small amount of money.

If you have a smart meter and your energy supplier is registered to take part in the DFS, they might have already contacted you to invite you to sign up.

You can see the full list of registered suppliers here. If your provider isn’t participating, there are some online providers and apps who can link directly to your smart meter data without contacting an energy supplier.

However, you can only take part with one DFS registered provider at a time. Households need to have a smart meter to take part, as well as provide marketing consent and access to your half hourly electricity metering data.

Abby is a policy and communication manager and focuses on developing Energy Saving Trust’s policy positions across the UK, with a specific focus on England. Abby works across many areas of energy policy, namely energy efficiency, decarbonisation of heat and consumer advice. This work involves shaping Energy Saving Trust’s positions and working with other stakeholders whilst engaging with government on crucial decarbonisation issues.

Abby also works closely with the communications team to create influential and impactful external communications on policy related issues.

Photo Credits: Pexels

Rebecca Goodman

Award-winning freelance journalist with a decade of experience working for online and print publications in the consumer sector.

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