UK’s National Grid to pay people to use less power during a cold spell

LONDON, Jan. 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s National Grid (NG.L) said it would pay customers to cut power Monday night and had asked for three coal-fired generators to be heated up in case they were needed if the country is facing a moment of cold weather.

The group said it would activate a new scheme called the Demand Flexibility Service that would give customers incentives if they agree to use less power during times of crisis.

The service, which has been trialled but not previously performed in a live situation, would run from 5pm to 6pm on Monday, it said, adding that the move did not mean the electricity supply was jeopardized and advised people not to worry. to make.

The measures were announced to “ensure everyone gets the electricity they need,” Craig Dyke, head of national control at National Grid ESO, told BBC Radio on Monday, adding that 26 suppliers had signed up to the plan .

Temperatures below freezing have been recorded across much of the UK in recent days, with the national weather service, the Met Office, issuing severe weather warnings for snow and ice last week.

National Grid’s Dyke said consumers can make small changes to make money by reducing their energy use, such as putting off cooking or turning on the washing machine until after 6 p.m.

National Grid said in December that more than a million UK households had joined the scheme, which is one of its strategies to help avoid blackouts.

The announcement about the coal-fired generators did not mean they would definitely be used, it said in a separate statement.

Coal-powered generators were last put on standby in December as temperatures dropped and energy demand increased, but they were not needed at the time.

Reporting by William Schomberg and Muvija M in London, and Sneha Bhowmik in Bengaluru; edited by Tomasz Janowski, Andrew Heavens, Kirsten Donovan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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