EDF customers could earn up to £100 in credit this winter through the supplier’s version of the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service (DFS).
The supplier’s version of the scheme, known as ‘Beat the Peak’, will pay out up to £3 for each kilowatt hour (kWh) a household saves compared to their typical electricity usage. EDF has joined the likes of British Gas, Octopus Energy and Ovo Energy in offering the scheme.
It comes as households are set for a tough winter when it comes to their energy bills. The Ofgem energy price cap is going to climb 5% from 1 January 2024, as a result of a surge in wholesale prices. There are few energy deals that are competitive with the current cap, or those expected over the course of next year. The best way to save is by slashing your energy usage, something we explore in detail in our energy saving tips guide.
So, what is EDF’s take on the DFS – and how can you get involved? Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know.
Am I eligible for EDF Beat the Peak?
There are a few criteria you have to meet before you can take part in EDF’s version of the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS). These are:
- Be an EDF customer
- Have a fully-functioning smart meter
- Be opted in for half-hourly smart meter readings
EDF says it has emailed 559,000 customers who are eligible for the scheme. If you’ve missed out on this email and you think you’re eligible, it may be because you’re not opted-in for marketing emails. If you want to take part, you should get in touch with EDF through the provider’s website or app.
How does EDF Beat the Peak work?
EDF’s scheme is one and the same as National Grid ESO’s DFS. While other suppliers, like Octopus Energy, have added bells and whistles to the scheme, EDF’s version is very much a standard offering.
You will be able to earn back credit on your energy bill for cutting your usage at certain times between now and the end of March 2024. DFS was launched by the power grid operator last year in a bid to reduce the risk of blackouts. It goes live when demand spikes and supply margins are tighter than normal, or when it’s testing the capacity of the scheme. This tends to happen at peak times (usually 4pm until 7pm) on weekdays during winter cold snaps.
At present, 12 test events are scheduled. But there could be several ‘live’ events depending on the severity of the cold snaps we get this winter. Two live events have already happened this winter.
If you’re an EDF customer and you opt in to the scheme, you’ll be informed via email if a DFS event’s taking place up to a day in advance, or possibly on the day itself. To get credit, you’ll need to show you’ve reduced your energy consumption during a DFS event compared to your typical usage at peak times. So, if you don’t use much electricity at these times anyway, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to save much, whereas energy intensive households could stand to save a lot.
The amount of credit you’ll earn in each session depends on how much you’ve cut your electricity usage by, as well as the amount of energy the National Grid needs to save. EDF says it will pay out a maximum of £3 per kWh during each session. Based on this estimate, it predicts its customers could save £100 over the five months the DFS runs for. The supplier says all credit should be applied to customer accounts within a fortnight of each session.
How to save money through EDF Beat the Peak
For ways to cut your energy use significantly, visit our in-depth energy saving guide. We’ve also put together some quick top tips for how to maximise your savings through EDF’s version of DFS:
- Get out the house: if you’re out and about and you’ve switched all your non-essential appliances off, you won’t be tempted to use any electricity.
- Do your laundry at another time: washing machines are extremely power hungry appliances. You could earn a decent amount of credit by using them during the day or later in the evening, if you normally use them at peak hours. The same applies to your dishwasher and tumble dryer.
- Batch cook off-peak: cooking is also energy intensive. If you’re able to make several meals at a non-DFS time, you could cut your costs when the scheme runs. To heat up your meal, use a microwave or your hob rather than an oven.
- Plan ahead for your cuppa: you don’t have to miss out on a cup of tea whilst the DFS is running. All you need to do is boil the kettle before it starts and fill a flask.
- Switch everything off at the wall: if everything’s off at the plug, you are likely to cut back your energy use.
- Be strict with yourself: if you’re aiming to earn back anything like £100 in credit, you will have to be very strict about what you use and when you use it during DFS hours.