Thousands of customers at huge energy supplier paid to use electricity at specific time – how you can too | The Sun

THOUSANDS of customers at a huge energy supplier are being paid to use their electricity at specific times – and you may be eligible too.

Octopus Energy customers who signed up for the supplier's "Power-ups" scheme were paid to use as much electricity as they wanted to during a two-hour window last Friday.

Some customers earned upwards of £17 and the top 5% earned at least £4.80 during the period.

The savings are paid to customers as energy credits and applied directly to their bills.

Over 25,000 customers have already signed up for the scheme and 16,000 took part in the "Power up" event last Friday.

The scheme which is open to customers living in specific postcodes provides participants with free electricity when there is excess renewable energy on the grid.

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Based on UK Power Networks' forecasts, Octopus sends customers a notification of the times they can "Power-up" their homes for free a day in advance.

Customers are then rewarded with a refund on the typical cost of this energy during the free usage time-period.

The first two-hour window on Friday lasted between 2pm and 4pm.

So if a customer was to shift using their washing machines, dishwashers and other energy-intensive appliances during this time they were paid to do so.

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Octopus Energy has confirmed that the scheme will run for the next year and more postcodes will be eligible as time passes.

At the moment eligible postcodes begin with TN, SG, PE, NR, NN, MK, IP, CT, CO and CB

To opt into a "Power-up", just click the link in your invite email and confirm you’re in before the Power-up begins.

Customers must opt-in for each "Power-up" or they won't get the electricity for free.

Octopus Energy customers interested in taking part in the scheme can check their eligibility by visiting

You'll need a working smart meter which submits automatic readings on a half-hourly basis to take part.

Alex Schoch, head of flexibility at Octopus Energy Group, said: "Thanks to Octopus' proprietary technology rewarding 'demand turn up', we no longer need to switch off bountiful solar and wind power when consumers can use it up for free instead.

"It's good for the grid and good for the planet – a win for everybody. 

"'Power-ups' is yet another arrow in the quiver of 'demand flexibility' and it's great to work with an innovator like UK Power Networks."

Last winter, Octopus spearheaded the first scheme to support the National Grid's Demand Flexibility Service (DFS).

Over 700,000 Octopus Energy customers signed up to use less electricity at times of stress on the grid – and diverted £5.4million to UK householders rather than gas power plants.

Numerous other companies followed suit and set up their own DFS schemes which rewarded customers to lower their consumption during peak times.

But Octopus Energy is only the only supplier to currently offer a scheme which pays customers to use their energy at specific times.

Other suppliers have their own schemes which reward customers with energy credits if they shift their consumption to off-peak times.

What do other energy suppliers offer?

Ovo Energy will pay eligible customers £10 a month if they reduce their energy consumption during peak times.

Those taking part in its Power Move scheme will need to cut their usage between the peak hours of 4pm-7pm to less than 12.5%.

That's the equivalent of moving four loads of washing each week from on-peak to off-peak hours.

Or three dishwasher loads later on in the evening.

The average household uses 18% of its electricity at peak times so by reducing this to 12.5% or below, over one million eligible Ovo Energy customers can be credited £10 a month.

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You can join a Power Move challenge if you're an Ovo pay monthly and on-demand customer with a smart meter that's sending half-hourly readings.

It's expected that more suppliers will re-open their DFS schemes in the Autumn to help reduce pressure on National Grid during cold snaps.

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