Households are to be paid for reducing their energy consumption for two days in a row as margins remain tight

Households will be rewarded for reducing their electricity consumption for two days in a row as coal-fired power plants have been put back on standby in the event of a low electricity supply.

The network operator said it would announce a second-ever live show that pays businesses and households to turn off certain devices for an hour or two.

Tuesday’s Demand Flexibility Service session will come just 24 hours after the first live launch, which took place between 5pm and 6pm on Monday.

It will operate between 4.30pm and 6pm on Tuesday, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said.

“We made this decision because we are currently seeing a similar operational picture to that available on Sunday,” the statement said on Monday afternoon.

“Using these additional services does not mean that electricity supply is at risk, but that we need more options to manage the grid normally.”

This is because recent cold weather and poor conditions for wind turbines have left the grid with less supply to meet demand than it would like.

On both Monday and Tuesday, households will fight for a higher than normal paycheck.

Several tests have been carried out in the past, but on Monday, the Demand Flexibility service was used for the first time to ensure the grid was balanced.

The system is configured in such a way that no more electricity is drawn than it is fed in at any given time.

Traditionally, the grid operator usually does this by creating additional power, but the new system allows it to reduce the amount of electricity it consumes.

Monday was the second call to the Demand Flexibility Service live stream.

The last time it was canceled ahead of schedule, but on Monday the service went ahead as planned.

Octopus Energy customers are among those who can expect higher than usual payouts.

The supplier said all customers who participate can expect points worth £3.37 per unit of electricity saved, which is 50% more than previous payments.

Several other providers have also bid on higher-than-normal contracts, meaning they can pay their customers more for a share.

National Grid said 26 suppliers have signed up for the Demand Flexibility Service.

Households with these providers must register in advance and join the system each time.

Octopus said customers with a working smart meter could sign up anytime before the session started at 5pm on Monday.

Separately, ESO also said on Monday that three coal-fired power plants had been asked to warm up in case supplies were limited on Tuesday.

The plants owned by Drax and EDF were due to close permanently when the UK phased out of coal. But this winter they were kept on standby under a deal with the government amid the ongoing energy crisis. Haven’t had to use any yet.

Three locations had already been warmed up on Sunday in case they were needed on Monday, but were put on hold around midnight.

These power stations need time to slowly warm up before they can start producing electricity for UK homes, so the grid must warn them in advance.

Expert Adam Bell, who is head of policy at consulting firm Stonehaven, said the system was working as it should.

Every day, National Grid must manage supplies by starting and shutting down electricity generators.

“Everything is fine and only the network is doing its job,” said Bell, adding that the demand elasticity side is “interesting.”

Craig Dyke, ESO’s head of national control, told Sky News: “We made the decision over the weekend to heat three coal-fired power plants, just as a precaution, so not necessarily for work.

“Just to reassure the public that once we get through tonight’s peak, there will be electricity they can use whenever they want.”

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