Over a million British homes signed up to scheme to cut winter power demand

A farmer works in a field surrounded by electricity pylons in Ratcliffe-on-Soar
A farmer works in a field surrounded by electricity pylons in Ratcliffe-on-Soar, in central England, September 10, 2014. REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - More than a million British homes have signed up to a scheme which will pay them to cut electricity use to help prevent power shortages this winter, National Grid said on Wednesday.

Under the demand flexibility service (DFS), homes that have signed up with their suppliers would be paid, usually via money off their bills, for turning off appliances such as ovens and dishwashers during a specific period when electricity demand is high.

National Grid warned in October that homes could face three-hour rolling power cuts this winter if the country is unable to secure enough gas and electricity imports. It launched the DFS as part of its tool box to help prevent cuts.

National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) said more than a million households have now signed up to the scheme with homes saving a total of around 2.8 million pounds ($3.47 million) during the five tests of the service it has held so far.

“These test results show that if called upon this service will help the ESO balance the national electricity network this winter and is a valuable addition to the ESO’s operational tools,” said Craig Dyke, Head of National Control at National Grid ESO.

($1 = 0.8077 pounds)

Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Jon Boyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.