New emergency blackout plan could see Brits get paid to turn off power
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An emergency blackout plan could see Brits paid to turn off their power for set periods.
The plan could see households compensated to help National Grid avoid a blackout on Tuesday (29 November) evening, as supplies are set to be tight due to expected pressure on the French energy grid this week.
The grid operator will make a decision on the matter by around 2.30pm this afternoon.
The plan comes as low temperatures and outages on France's nuclear power fleet are putting pressure on energy supplies, explains market experts, Enappsys.
“Even though wind is coming back for tomorrow evening’s peak, slow return of nukes in France plus lower temperatures may mean that there is a reduction in available imports across the interconnectors,” they said on Monday.
National Grid has also said it is currently deliberating whether to start up the demand flexibility service (DFS) for the first time tomorrow evening. The scheme has so far been tested twice but has never run as a live event.
The operator added that suppliers and households will then be notified if the plan goes ahead.
A spokesperson for the National Grid ESO said: "What has happened is that the ESO has issued an indicative notice on BMRS to alert demand flexibility service providers that we may issue a requirement at 2:30pm for the use of DFS tomorrow night.
"We’re still assessing what requirement we might need, so it’s still possible that we will issue a requirement for 0MW at 2:30pm that will stand down the use of the DFS tomorrow night."
If the plan goes forward, households that have signed up to the scheme will receive a message asking them to turn off appliances - for example, a dishwasher or washing machine - at a set time, in exchange for £3 per kilowatt-hour saved.
If the full £3 is passed to customers from energy suppliers, households could potentially receive £20 per day.
On the matter of blackouts this winter, Downing Street has previously said they were 'preparing for all eventualities'.
"We do have quite a diverse energy provision. Offshore wind continues to provide a huge amount of our energy, particularly during the winter months," a spokesman said, as per The Mirror.
"While we are preparing for all eventualities, we are confident that we will continue to have good provision throughout the winter months."