The Big Dirty Turn-Down
I have been waiting for some positive news but there hasn’t been much of it around at the moment in terms of energy. Wholesale energy prices are skyrocketing and everyone is bracing for the energy price cap rises in April. Yesterday, however, Octopus threw us a curveball as they launched their Big Dirty Turn-Down trial.
What’s the Big Dirt Turn-Down all about?
The Big Dirty Turn-Down is available to Octopus customers who;
- Hav been an Octopus Energy electricity customer since December 1st 2021
- Have a working smart meter, which sends us half-hourly reads
- Are not be on an export tariff (Outgoing, SEG, etc)
It is a trial between Octopus Energy and The National Grid. Customers will be paid NOT to use energy. That’s right for switching off your electricity and shifting when you use the most energy you could get money off your energy bill.
Octopus is passionate about load shifting and has been trying to persuade customers to use energy off-peak for the last few years. The difference is this is a collaboration and it doesn’t involve switching to a smart tariff. You can stay on your existing tariff. Nothing changes except during the trial, which runs February and through March, you’ll need to try and hit a set energy target during a preset 2-hour window.
How often will I need to turn down my energy use during the trial?
There will be between 5 and 10 big dirty turn-down events lasting 2 hours. If you are able to reduce your energy use to achieve a set target then you will get the energy used in that 2-hour window for free.
The challenge will be sent to you a few hours before each event. You’ll get a text, email or be notified with the Octopus app. All you need to do is start turning things down. Your smart meter will do the rest.
Octopus will look at your energy use for the previous 4 weeks to work out your target. If you meet your target any electricity used during the event will be credited to your account within 2 weeks. So you won’t get charged for the energy you did use.
How’s all this going to help?
I had a discussion with someone on Twitter this morning who just couldn’t see the point of the trial. @Grumpiereveryday asked how will not turning on his kettle after he’s walked his dog really help? Does he have to have cold water?
But moving the spike to a later time will still need those power stations to come online? I’m genuinely not getting this
— Grumpier Every Day (@GrumpierDaily) February 9, 2022
It’s something we aren’t really used to considering. How does our energy use impact the National Grid? Can we make a difference? Does this help the planet? Yes, it does and that’s the point of the trial.
No not necessarily. The @NationalGridESO have to make sure they meet our energy needs. The standby mode to help achieve this isn’t the greenest. Octopus and the grid is trying to see if offering a financial motivation can change behaviour. pic.twitter.com/rykS8i1avs
— Sarah Go Green💚 (@sarah_go_green) February 9, 2022
This frank exchange shows that even before the trial has started it’s working. @GrumpierEveryDay on Twitter has already started to think about the bigger picture. Even though his first thought was Octopus are 🤡 for even trying. Maybe, he isn’t so grumpy today now we have had a chat. 🥰
Grumpy isn’t alone! As a nation, we use energy on demand. It is something we take for granted but for the sake of the planet if we can think a little more it could make a massive difference.
Inspiration from Peter Miller, Co-Founder Octopus Energy.
We’re working with National Grid ESO, the people who run the electricity network, to trial a big national ‘turndown’, where households come together to consciously use less energy at certain times – and get rewarded with free power for their efforts. While your own home might only be a small drop in the ocean, every ocean is made up of many drops; so put enough of them together and they soon add up. – Peter Miller, Co-Founder Octopus Energy.
How can customers sign up for the Big Dirty Turn-Down?
You can join the Big Dirty Turn down and make a difference by simply completing this form. Maybe, @GrumpyEveryDay will join in? I think he will! 😇