Introducing Loop's Turn Down and Save
What is Turn Down and Save?
Turn Down and Save pays Loop customers for using less electricity at peak times this winter.
At peak times it’s expensive for National Grid to balance supply and demand. National Grid pays some of the most expensive electricity generators to generate electricity at peak times. But it also pays factories and businesses to reduce their usage. This can often be cheaper than turning more generators on. Turn Down and Save extends the same offer to Loop customers. If you can use less electricity during peak periods Loop will pay you a reward.
National Grid has to balance supply and demand of electricity every second of every day.
But our demand for electricity varies all the time. The demand over a day in January this year is shown in the graph below. The peak demand at 5:30pm is 70% higher than the low overnight demand.
To support this peak demand, more generation turns on. As you’d expect, the cheapest generation is used first. This comes from wind, solar, nuclear, and the most efficient gas plants. But as demand peaks, increasingly expensive generation is needed.
This is where Turn Down and Save comes in. Rather than turning on expensive generation, National Grid will pay households via Loop to reduce their use at peak times.
Turn Down and Save saves National Grid money and Loop’s customers money. It’s a win-win.
How can I Turn Down and Save?
Turn down and save is available to everyone with a smart meter. To take part, you first need to sign up with Loop. Then, once you've got your Loop account, join our rewards scheme below.
How does it work?
We expect there to be between ten and twenty Turn Down and Save events between November 2022 and March 2023. Each event will likely last for an hour on a weekday evening. You’ll receive an email alert the day before an event. This will ask if you want to take part. You can choose to opt-in or out of each event and you can join Turn Down and Save at any point this winter.
Initially, Loop will be rewarding everyone who reduces their usage by 40% or more. Users that hit the target will earn £3 per kWh saved.
To tell if you've reduced your usage, we'll calculate your “Baseline”. This is how much energy we'd expect you to use on a normal day. It's based on your historical usage from your smart meter and conditions on the event day.
Suppose an event runs from 4pm to 5pm on a Tuesday. Then we'd take your usage between 4pm and 5pm on the previous ten weekdays and take the average. This is then adjusted based on conditions on the day itself. This 'on the day' adjustment has caused lots of questions from participants and we've fed this back to National Grid. You can read more about how the calculations are made here.
We’ll continue to talk to customers for the duration of the scheme. It's the first time we've run Turn Down to Save and your feedback will help us refine what we're doing. If we find there are better ways of rewarding customers we'll do this.
How to save during peak times
The key to saving at peak times is to remember you're shifting your energy load on either side of these hours. Perhaps you usually charge your electric car, use the oven or put your dishwasher on during this period. You'll now need to think about when else in the day to do these high-energy actions. It's simple lifestyle changes that can make a difference.
But, don't forget about other efficiency advice too, like understanding your Phantom Load - the name for the appliances left switched on, adding to your bill without you necessarily knowing about it. Whilst it might not help with load-shifting, if you want to cut your rising costs it's a good place to start. Big energy-wasting culprits include extra fridges, which could be costing you £119 yearly, and electric towel rails, which could be costing you £179!
The future of energy
The energy crisis is putting an immense strain on households. As you’d expect, energy news is being reported through the prism of the crisis.
But Turn Down and Save is about more than just keeping the lights on. It marks a shift. Balancing the grid is moving away from turning on more and more expensive generation at peak times. The future is smart, clean tech in houses up and down the country, scheduling when they use energy to best support the grid.
Customers don’t care if their electric car charges at 5pm or 2am as long as it’s charged when they need it. Home batteries can do far more than just store spare solar energy for the evening. And even white goods have the potential to choose when to use energy.
This smart energy future is central to Loop’s vision. The cost savings from having solar on your roof, a battery in your garage, and an electric car on your drive are huge. Optimising how you use both your homegrown and grid electricity adds to the savings. But it's not just about cost. It’s a much greener, cleaner, and sustainable way to power your home.
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