Millions to get energy REBATES by turning off washing machines and games consoles

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National Grid chiefs want people with smart meters to turn off power-hungry appliances like washing machines, tumble driers and games consoles at peak usage times.

The company plans to offer rebates of up to £6 per kWh to households which cut their electricity use in the busy three-hour slot between 5pm and 8pm.

Officials have applied to regulator Ofgem for permission to introduce the scheme by late October amid fears that high autumn usage could over-stretch the network.

Details emerged ahead of next Friday’s announcement of the next energy price cap rise and amid fears that the ceiling is expected to reach £4,200 in January.

A National Grid spokesman said: “We are developing a new service that will be available for consumers to benefit from across this winter and will be announcing further information soon.”

Another source added: “It is definitely not about people sitting in the dark, or volunteering to be cold. It is about doing the washing at a different time of day that sort of stuff.”

The news comes amid claims after some experts have forecast a one in ten chance of power cuts and suggestions that the government is planning for the worst-case scenario.

Germany has ordered reductions in energy use and in France President Macron is preparing a “sobriety plan” to conserve energy in case Russia’s war in Ukraine leads to gas shortages.

The rebate scheme was tested in February and March, when 105,000 Octopus Energy customers were asked on eight separate occasions to turn down appliances for two hours.

Octopus, which rewarded households who cut their use by 30 to 40 percent with a payment of 22.7p for every kWh saved, said: “This demonstrates that domestic flexibility is ready to be mobilised today.”

The Energy Savings Trust says washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14 percent of a typical energy bill, while consumer electronics such as laptops, TVs and games consoles account for another 6 percent.

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