The UK’s National Grid is combatting potential loadshedding with a unique reward scheme, offering incentives for reduced energy use during peak times.
How UK uses reward scheme to prevent loadshedding
In a novel approach to managing its national power grid, the UK’s National Grid has introduced a reward scheme aimed at preventing blackouts during the current cold snap.
As reported by Sky News, households with smart meters are eligible to participate, receiving cash and other rewards for reducing their energy usage between 17:00 and 18:30 on Wednesday, 29 November 2023.
This initiative, known as the Live Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), marks its first activation this autumn and winter season. The National Grid ESO (electricity system operator) clarified that the activation of DFS does not indicate an immediate risk to electricity supplies but serves as a precautionary step to maintain a buffer of spare capacity.
Launched in response to Europe’s gas crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, the DFS scheme has involved over 1.6 million households and businesses so far.
Participants are not required to completely shut off electricity but are encouraged to limit the use of high-energy appliances like washing machines.
The program, which is optional, has already saved over 3 300MW of electricity across 22 activations in 2022, equivalent to powering approximately 10 million homes for an hour.
Eskom pushes loadshedding schedule up a few notches
In contrast, South Africa continues to grapple with severe power shortages.
Eskom, the national power utility, has implemented Stage 5 loadshedding from 05:00 until 20:00, escalating to Stage 6 from 20:00 until 05:00 on Thursday.
This pattern of alternating loadshedding stages is set to continue daily until Saturday morning, highlighting the persistent challenges in the country’s power sector.
Check the updated loadshedding schedule for this week right here: