Ovo offers £20 a month to customers who cut energy use between 4pm and 7pm


Would you be willing to reduce your energy use in peak hours for cashback? Ovo launches trial of new tariff in bid to prevent blackouts

  • Energy supplier will pay up to £20 a month to those who reduce peak time usage
  • It comes as one in six are struggling to pay bills, according to the FCA
  •  National Grid has warned of blackouts if Britain experiences a cold snap

Ovo customers will be rewarded with up to £100 this winter if they curb their energy use in peak times as part of a new trial launching today.

The energy supplier has launched the ‘Power Move’ trial in a bid to reduce demand on the grid over winter amid fears of nationwide blackouts.

The National Grid recently warned that if Britain experiences a cold snap this winter, households could face a series of three-hour power cuts.

Off-peak: Ovo Energy’s Power Move trial will reward customers who curb energy use between 4pm and 7pm

A survey commissioned by Ovo claims that 83 per cent of households would be willing to reduce their energy use between 4pm and 7pm for potential cashback. 

This rises to 90 per cent for those who earn less than £20,000 a year, it said. 

The trial, which runs until March 2023, will reward households up to £100 – or £20 a month – for moving ‘non-essential’ energy use to off peak times outside the hours of 4pm and 7pm. 

The cash will be credited to the customer’s Ovo account per month if they meet the target. 

A household with typical energy usage on the current price capped tariff of £2,500 per year will be paying just over £208 per month for their electricity and gas, so the incentive would potentially save them 10 per cent off their bill. 

It comes as households across the UK are concerned about their ability to pay their energy bills this winter. 

A new extensive survey by the Financial Conduct Authority found that six in ten people are struggling to keep up with their bills.

Its survey found that paying bills was a ‘heavy’ burden for 7.8million people, an extra 2.5million people since 2020. 

And there could be further bills pain to come, as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in October that the energy price guarantee that stalls the price cap at £2,500 for the average household would end in April, instead of lasting for two years.

Households can already cut the cost of running appliances by switching to an Economy 7 tariff, which charges different energy rates depending on the time of day. 

If you use more electricity at night than you do during the day, there are serious savings to be made. 

However, the daytime rate tends to be higher than average, so the savings can be wiped out if you use too much power during peak hours.

Ovo has narrowed down its peak demand to between the hours of 4pm and 7pm. Its data shows that the average household uses 19 per cent of its daily total usage during these times. 

‘At these times of peak demand, there’s often not enough renewable energy to go round, and so dirtier carbon-heavy power fires up to fill the gap,’ Ovo said.

Raman Bhatia, chief executive of OVO, added: ‘We’re heading into a critical moment for the UK energy sector, and we need a resilient grid to support households through this winter. 

‘It’s testament to our customers’ willingness to support new trials and engage with their usage that we’ve surpassed the target of trialists. 

‘We hope the results of this trial will give customers a deeper insight into how they can support the wider system, with potential savings to help over winter.’

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