How to Reduce Your Electricity Usage & Can You Get Paid to Do So?

The UK is facing the possibility of blackouts this winter, as highlighted by John Pettigrew, Chief Executive of the National Grid. He has warned that households may experience power cuts during the early evening hours of January and February, typically the darkest and coldest periods, so if you are wondering how to reduce your electricity usage and if you can get paid for it, read on!

To address this energy shortage challenge, several companies, including British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Octopus, Ovo, Shell Energy, and Utilita, have collaborated with the National Grid. Their collective effort aims to encourage customers to shift their energy usage to off-peak times, thus alleviating strain on the power grid.

By promoting the use of energy during non-peak hours, these companies and the National Grid seek to mitigate the risk of blackouts and ensure a more balanced distribution of energy resources during times of high demand.

Can you get paid to reduce your electricity usage at home?

Yes, under the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) implemented by the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), homeowners in the UK have the opportunity to receive payments for reducing their electricity usage at home. This scheme aims to incentivize consumers to lower their power consumption during specific timeframes, helping to alleviate strain on the power grid and potentially prevent blackouts.

The DFS operates through partnerships between the National Grid, energy suppliers, and various companies across the UK. Participating energy suppliers communicate with their customers about the scheme, and eligible customers can sign up to take part. Prior to the designated “test” periods when customers are expected to reduce their energy usage, the supplier sends an alert to notify customers 24 hours in advance.

During the test periods, which typically last for about an hour but can be extended to 3-4 hours if necessary, customers are encouraged to reduce their energy consumption. The amount of payment received by customers is based on the extent to which they successfully reduce their energy usage during these designated times.

By engaging in the DFS, homeowners can contribute to the stability of the power grid during periods of high demand and potentially earn financial incentives for their efforts in conserving electricity.

Who is offering this?

The following energy suppliers and companies have been approved to offer the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) or similar schemes:

  • British Gas (Peak Save)
  • CarbonLaces
  • Conrad Energy
  • CUB (UK) Ltd (Demand-Side Response)
  • Drax
  • ENGIE Power Limited (Demand-Side Response)
  • E.ON Next (Energy Shift)
  • Equiwatt
  • Flexitricity
  • Grid Beyond
  • Gridimp
  • Hugo Energy App
  • Labrador (Peak Payments)
  • (Turn Down and Save)
  • myenergi (Flexibility Beta)
  • Oaktree Power
  • Octopus Energy (Octopus Saving Sessions)
  • Pearlstone Energy (Demand Side Response)
  • Power Rewards App
  • Shell Energy Retail
  • SMS
  • VpowerU
  • Zenobe Energy Limited

These suppliers and companies have partnered with the National Grid to offer an incentive program and encourage customers to reduce their electricity consumption during specified times.


In summary, the prospect of blackouts in the UK is a concerning development. To address this issue in the long term, the government must focus on increasing the capacity of affordable renewable energy production and energy storage. It is crucial to modernize the outdated energy system in the country.

In the short term, the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) offers a potential solution. By incentivizing households to reduce their energy consumption during peak demand periods, the DFS could help lower energy bills for households while safeguarding against winter blackouts. However, it is important to view the DFS as a temporary measure and prioritize long-term solutions to ensure a reliable and sustainable energy system in the UK.