It has been a crazy few weeks. Trying to keep the family warm while keeping one eye on the cost isn’t always easy but at least this week it has been a little warmer.
We have been doing our daily routine as normal load shifting as much energy as possible to the evening. This way we keep the average price we pay for electricity below the Energy Price Guarantee. I think last month we managed to load shift around 55% of our energy use to the nighttime.
We have also been taking part in the National Grids, Demand Flexibity Service. We took part in the trials at the start of 2022 with Octopus Energy and the National Grid. Now the sessions are for real. The National Grid called on consumers twice last month to reduce the amount of energy they use to help balance the grid. It was quite a historical moment and stopped coal fire power stations from coming online.
Five minutes of fame – News at 10 pm.
I was on the News!! To be precise I was on Channel 4 News at 7 pm., ITV News at 10 pm, BBC News at 10 pm and BBC News online. It all got a little busy after I took part in a phone on Radio Wales. My phone went slightly crazy and I ended up with two camera crews in my house watching me taking part in the Octopus Saving Sessions.
I was hoping that with the lights out I wouldn’t get much of a spotlight but they had me turning lots of appliances off ready for the 6 pm start of the Saving Session which lasted for an hour.
I hated seeing myself on the news BUT it really helped to get the message across about the Demand Flexibility Service. You don’t need to sit in the dark, although lots do. It is just a case of shifting energy use of large appliances or simply not using them during a particular window of time.
Without the camera crews in attendance, I usually take advantage of a quiet hour when the kids aren’t nagging me for food. With their devices charged, they are more than happy to just watch some kiddie’s TV while I put my feed up. It really is as simple as that. Most of the sessions have been in the evening and have involved pushing back or bringing forward dinner by an hour.
Why take part in the Octopus Saving Session?
When you take part in an Octopus Saving Session you will get paid for not using electricity. So by not cooking the kid’s tea during the session or not putting on a load of washing you will get paid for doing nothing! This helps are you will be playing your part in putting less demand on the National Grid during a period they are concerned demand will force them to flick the big dirty switch on. So you’ll save money and help the planet.
Personally, I don’t take part just to save money I am more concerned about helping make the grid greener. I was brought up in the South Wales valleys where coal dust was everywhere. The sides of mountains would smoulder. Coal really is a dirty business!
This was opposite my school. The school was there first and they built this phenacite plant after. Everything was black. The cars the windows, even your hair had dust in it! So I really don’t mind doing absolutely anything to stop coal fire power stations from coming online! We need to try harder to make the grid greener.
You can still sign up if you are an Octopus customer and have a smart meter. You will get a notification 24 hours before the session starts and you just have to opt-in. Octopus has gamified the sessions by awarding customers points based on how much energy they have managed to offset. You can then redeem these points and add the credit to your energy bill or donate them to a fuel poverty charity.