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Will the wild winds of Storm Ciara see consumers PAID to use energy this weekend?

07 February 2020

  • Energy customers using flexibly priced tariffs can be paid to use electricity
  • High levels of wind generation are predicted this weekend and could see energy prices plummet to MINUS figures
  • During storms in December, National Grid ESO thanked energy consumers for using the extra wind energy, helping them to efficiently match supply and demand

As the Met Office warns that Great Britain will be struck by storm Ciara's 80 mile per hour winds over the weekend of 8/9 February, the potential for consumers up and down the nation to actually be paid to use energy has increased.

In late 2019 during Storm Atiyah winds reached 76 miles per hour. Homes with flexibly priced tariffs enabled by smart meters saw negative pricing on the mornings of 8 and 9 December as power generated from renewable wind power exceeded demand.

Negative pricing sees consumers paid to use energy and relieve pressures on the network when there is a large amount of cheap, green energy on the system.

Using the excess energy generated by the energy network in homes and batteries across the country provides a vital service to our national energy system and avoids Britain missing out on utilising renewable energy.

Last year, those customers who had opted for agile time of use tariffs were paid up to 5p/kWh to use the abundant wind energy, taking pressure off the grid at the same time.

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs, Smart Energy GB, said:

"Smart meters open consumers to a world of lower cost rated tariffs, accurate bills and with agile time of use, the potential to be paid to use energy.

"As we build a smarter energy system that is truly responsive to supply and demand through smart meters it will become even more common for consumers to be rewarded for helping out our energy system. It is remarkable that consumers with electric vehicles might get paid to charge their cars!"

Octopus Energy CEO, Greg Jackson, said:

"We are now getting to the promised land of renewables. When the wind blows, and the sun shines, companies like Octopus can bring you abundant cheap green electrons, using your smart meter. This is helping drive both the transition to renewables, and the clean transport revolution as drivers fill their batteries with green electricity for unbelievably low prices - sometimes for free."

Business and Climate Change Minister, Lord Ian Duncan, said:

"We're building a smarter and more flexible energy system, helping us meet the challenge of eliminating our contribution to climate change by 2050. Smart tariffs, facilitated by smart meters, are not only helping foster a cleaner and greener energy system, but are also rewarding households through their energy bills."

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  • Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB is available for interview - pre-recorded or live
  • Representatives from Octopus Energy and the National Grid ESO are also available for interview
  • Attached are examples of Octopus Agile tariff customers feedback to being paid to use energy

Smart Energy GB:

Stephen Shawcross: [email protected]; 0203 019 1057

Sophie Docker: [email protected]; 0203 019 1077 / 07522 230 907

James Spence: James.Spenc[email protected]; 0203 019 1048 / 07715 666 991

About smart meters and the rollout

Britain is committed to a cleaner future - one with zero carbon, zero emissions and reduced pollution.

To make this happen, our nation requires a major upgrade to its energy infrastructure, specifically, it requires the creation of a smart energy system. Smart meters, which replace traditional, analogue meters, are the building blocks of a more reliable, clean and affordable energy infrastructure, allowing Great Britain to better manage energy use, transition to mass uptake of electric vehicles and to build a greener economy.

There are already 15.6 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales can now see their energy use in near real time, receive accurate bills and do their bit for the planet, by requesting a smart meter, at no extra cost, from their supplier.

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. It's our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit our website smartenergyGB.org