National Grid ready to cut energy use as temperatures plummet

Households will be paid to cut their electricity use for the first time on Monday between 5pm and 6pm, under plans being drawn up by the National Grid. With temperatures

expected to plummet to -2°C today, ramping up pressure on Britain’s supplies, the power network operator is planning to call on consumers to use less electricity to help it manage

the system. Around a million people have signed up to the scheme, which will see them paid as much as £10 a day to cut the amount of electricity they use at certain times as

part of efforts to tackle the energy crisis. This could mean, for example, not running the washing machine or dishwasher during that hour, or waiting to charge an electric

car until night-time. The scheme has previously been trialled, but proposals to use it at a time of high demand have never reached this stage of planning before. Energy

sources last night said agreements linked to the plans had been made with suppliers that could not be reneged on. In a further sign of the strain on Britain's energy supply,

the National Grid has also asked extra coal-fired power plants to be ready to supply back-up electricity on Monday evening if needed. National Grid’s Electricity System

Operator (ESO) said it was activating the programme, known as the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) between 5pm and 6pm today on Monday. A spokesman said: “Our forecasts show

electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Monday evening. “This does not mean electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried.

These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need.”