British Gas are developing plans to pay customers to cut their electricity use by 30 percent at peak times to avoid blackouts this winter. Britain’s largest household supplier confirmed it is keen to take part in National Grid’s new scheme to safeguard electricity supplies amid fears of energy shortages.
British Gas said that it expected to start trialing the scheme later this year to its 3.8 million smart meter customers.
A spokesman explained that the scheme would “reward” customers who avoided using excess electricity at peak times.
They said: “We are working on a scheme that would reward customers who reduce their usage during peak times with a target of around a 30pc reduction.”
A survey by the Office for National Statistics discovery that around two-thirds of households have already cut back on energy use in an effort to save money
43 percent of adults admitted that they are finding it difficult to pay their bills amid the cost of living crisis and soaring inflation.
At the same time, 40 percent of people reported that they were using their cars less due to the rising cost of petrol which has increased by a quarter in a year.
It comes as Centrica reopened its rough gas storage site in the North Sea in a effort to gain winter energy security and avoid the nightmare scenario of blackouts.
Centrica said that the site will increase the Uk’s gas reserves by 50 percent, although it will only run at 20 percent capacity this winter.
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He said: “We’re not there yet, and I think a model is unlikely in the short term, but we will always be willing to continue discussions with the Government.”
The cuts to Russian supplies of gas to Europe have raised concerns about electrical shortages this winter particularly during peak times such as 5pm to 8pm when most people are at home.
In order to prevent this risk the National Grid will pay household suppliers for the amount of demand they are able to cut if called upon to do so because of looming shortages.
In return suppliers will pay customers who agree to cut their usage by avoiding using their dishwasher when requested for example.
It is up to individual customers and suppliers if they want to take part in the scheme.