OVO to pay customers for shifting energy usage out of peak times | Personal Finance | Finance

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Energy supplier OVO has announced a new initiative to reward customers for shifting their energy usage out of peak times to when the grid is greener.

Households that take part in Power Move will be individually rewarded £10 per month for reducing electricity consumption to 12.5 percent of their daily usage, between peak times of 4pm and 7pm.

This will see more than 1.5 million customers collectively earn up to £15million per month by completing the summer challenge.

Mat Moakes, chief commercial officer at OVO, said: “Changing what time of day you put the washing machine on might seem small, but our Power Move trials showed these small acts can make a massive impact.

“That’s why we’re paying customers to move their energy use out of peak times, to times of day when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.”

He added: “This is all part of our commitment to help make our customers’ homes, as well as the energy system, greener.”

People can join a Power Move challenge if they’re an OVO pay monthly and on-demand customer with a smart meter that’s sending half-hourly readings. They can find Power Move in the “Path to Zero” section of their online account, after which they can then follow the steps to join.

Those who haven’t can switch to half-hourly readings via their online account.

The initiative follows a successful trial last winter, which paid out just under £150,000 to customers and achieved 22.3 tonnes worth of carbon savings.

Natalie Harris, 52 years old, from Bristol, who took part in the trial, said: “OVO paid me £80 last winter for making simple changes that reduced demand on the grid.

“This meant I was able to treat myself when I did my weekly shopping. I’ve tried to keep up the good habits I made, for example, I’m more conscious of when I run the washing machine and I try not to put the oven on during peak hours.

“I would definitely sign up to Power Move again because I like to do my bit for the planet and the savings are a lot of money for me.”

According to the green energy supplier, reducing consumption to 12.5 percent of their daily usage is roughly equivalent to an average household moving one of the following activities from peak to off-peak:

  • Cooking one meal in the oven for an hour, per week
  • Three dishwasher loads per week
  • Four loads of washing per week.

The Power Move challenges and rewards will be adjusted each season, based on the time of year and average consumption rates, to “maximise” rewards for customers.

Data from OVO shows that demand on the energy grid is highest between 4pm and 7pm each day when households use a fifth (19 percent) of their daily total usage.

At these times of peak demand, there’s often not enough renewable energy to go around, meaning dirtier, carbon-heavy power fires up to fill the gap.

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