Earn money off your bills and help the UK’s energy grid with PeakSave Winter by using less electricity at peak times.
Not a PeakSaver yet? Check out the details below to see if you can join in!
What is PeakSave Winter?
A series of events that help ease the strain on the UK’s energy grid. Our PeakSavers use less electricity than usual at peak times, and get rewarded for helping ease the strain on the grid.
It’s part of the ESO Demand Flexibility Service, a nationwide effort by energy suppliers to support a greener and more efficient electricity system this winter.
Can I take part?
To earn money off your bills with PeakSave Winter, you’ll need to:
British Gas customer
You'll need to be an electricity customer to include you in our PeakSave Winter events. Not an electricity customer yet?
You'll need to have a smart meter, so we can see how much energy you normally use.
You'll need to pay by Direct Debit or when you receive your bill.
If we supply your electricity but you prepay for energy or don’t have a smart meter, no problem. Sign up for PeakSave and we’ll be in touch about what you can do to take part.
How will PeakSave Winter work?
Our PeakSave Winter events help to ease the strain on the UK’s energy grid at peak times. You earn money off your bills for any electricity you save. And by helping to reduce demand at peak times, you’re supporting a greener grid and ensuring everyone gets the energy they need.
Taking part is easy – just try to use less electricity than you normally would during the events. The goal is to use 30% less, but you’ll earn money however much you save.
- If you’re not a PeakSaver yet, the first step is to sign up. We’ll then get in touch to let you know when you’re up and running or the next steps to get involved.
- Once you’re signed up, we’ll invite you to take part in every event by email, either on the day or the day before. Each event will last between 30 minutes and 4 hours.
- During the events, try to use less electricity than you normally would. It’s as simple as waiting a while to put the washing on. Or doing the dishes a little earlier.
- We’ll work out how much electricity you saved through your smart meter. And even if you only save a little during an event, we’ll round it up to a £1 for taking part.1
- At the end of each month, we’ll send you a summary of how much you saved.
1. Join PeakSave
Sign up for PeakSave and we’ll be in touch about what you can do to take part.
2. Opt into events
Before PeakSave Winter event days, we’ll contact you with all the details. Click the link in the email to opt in.
3. Cut down what you can
During the events, try to use less electricity than you normally would at that time.
4. Earn money towards your bill
Your smart meter will tell us what you saved, and we’ll work out how much money you earned.
What are the benefits of taking part?
- Join a country-wide effort to ease the strain on the UK’s energy grid at peak times. So everyone can get the electricity they need.
- Support a greener grid by reducing the need to burn fossil fuels to meet electricity demand at peak times.
- Earn money towards your bills for the electricity you save. And even if you only save a little, we’ll round it up to a £1 for taking part.
- Get a better understanding of how you use electricity at home.
What can I do to save electricity during the events?
Don’t sit in the dark, let the freezer defrost or do anything unsafe like turn off medical equipment. It’s all about the little things we can do to save electricity at peak times.
Making small changes like putting the dishwasher on earlier, having a shower later or switching off lights in empty rooms can all help you save.
There are lots of ways you can lower your electricity and gas bills. Check out some suggestions on our energy saving tips guide.
Delay doing the dishes
Large appliances use more energy than those that produce light or sound, like your TV. So enjoy some downtime and get the dishes done a little later.
Change when you charge
If you have an electric vehicle, scheduling it to charge after an event is a simple way to save.
Power off at the plug
Remember to turn off TVs, game consoles and laptops when you leave the room.
Did you know?
Most of a household’s energy bill usually comes from running washing machines, dishwashers and electric showers.
The difference PeakSavers made last winter
Nearly 200,000 PeakSavers took part in our previous PeakSave Winter. By using a little less electricity where they could, they proved that small changes really do add up.
- Over 12 events, they collectively saved 147,000 kWh of electricity.
- That’s enough to power 750,000 homes for an hour, or toast 7 million slices of bread.
We loved hearing about the changes they made to take part – using the events as opportunities to walk the dog or play board games as a family.
Of the PeakSavers we surveyed, 70% changed when and how they cooked or washed their clothes. And nearly half chose to put their dishwashers or tumble dryers on at different times.
It opened our eyes to be mindful of wasted energy and ways to conserve it.
We are making a more conscious effort to reduce our energy usage … and encourage the children to do the same.
With more PeakSavers than ever set to join in this year, we hope to help the grid be even greener.
PeakSave Winter – in partnership with National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO)
PeakSave Winter is part of the ESO Demand Flexibility Service, a nationwide effort by energy suppliers to support the electricity system this winter.
The aim is to ease the strain on the grid and help create a better balance between supply and demand, by asking customers to use less electricity at particularly busy times.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is PeakSave Winter different from PeakSave Sundays?
With PeakSave Sundays you move your electricity use into off-peak times to take advantage of cheaper prices. And with PeakSave Winter you try and use less by moving your electricity use out of peak times when the grid’s working overtime.
How many PeakSave Winter events will there be?
PeakSave Winter runs from 1st November 2023 to 31st March 2024. There will be at least 12 events during this time, but you don’t need to take part in them all. We can’t say for certain how many events there will be as this will be decided by National Grid ESO.
Can I join PeakSave Winter if I’ve got a prepayment meter?
While we haven’t been able to invite customers with smart prepayment meters to take part in PeakSave just yet, we’re working on it. And as soon as we can, we’ll be in touch.
Can I leave PeakSave Winter after I sign up?
Yes, you can leave PeakSave at any time. Every email will include a link to unsubscribe if you don’t want us to contact you about PeakSave again. But if you leave, you won’t be able to sign up to PeakSave again or take part in any PeakSave Winter or Sunday events.
When will PeakSave Winter events be?
Events could be at any time. But they’re more likely to happen on weekday evenings between 4pm and 9pm, when the demand for electricity is highest.
How will I know when a PeakSave Winter event starts?
We’ll send you an email and SMS before every event to let you know when it starts and how long it’ll last. It could be at short notice – this is part of National Grid ESO’s trial to test how quickly the system can respond. In the email, you’ll receive a link to opt in to each event.
How do you know how much electricity I’m using during a PeakSave Winter event?
Your smart meter will tell us. When you originally signed up to PeakSave, you agreed to let us take a smart meter reading every 30 minutes so we can monitor exactly how much electricity you’re using.
Do I have to take part in every PeakSave Winter event?
No, how many events you take part in is entirely up to you.
Why do I have to sign up to every PeakSave Winter event individually?
So we know to monitor how much electricity you’re using, and that you’re happy for us to take meter readings while the event is running.
Can I still take part in a PeakSave Winter event if I didn’t sign up for it?
If you don’t sign up, we won’t monitor how much electricity you’re using and you won’t receive any reward for participating.
I saw another energy provider running a similar event. Why wasn’t I invited?
National Grid ESO decides when these types of events happen, and which energy providers will take part.
How will I earn credit towards my bill?
You’ll be rewarded with credit on your electricity bill for using less electricity than you normally would during PeakSave Winter events.
For each event, National Grid ESO decides how much you can earn per unit of electricity you save, measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). It will be around £3 per kWh, but could be more if the demand for electricity is particularly high at that time.
And even if you only save a little electricity, we’ll make sure you always earn at least £1 for every event. All credits you earn include VAT. On your bill, they’ll be shown before VAT is added – for example, a £1 credit will appear as 96p.
How much electricity should I try to save during a PeakSave Winter event?
The target is to use 30% less electricity than you normally would, but you’ll earn money however much you save.
How do you calculate how much electricity I normally use?
We look at your past smart meter readings to get an idea of how much electricity you typically use during certain times of the day. This won’t include any previous PeakSave events you’ve taken part in.
We then use that information to set your individual savings target. This will change based on the time of the event and whether it’s happening during the week or at the weekend. We even take the weather into account, too.
What if I use more or less electricity for the whole PeakSave Winter event?
We understand that you might not be able to use less electricity than normal throughout an entire event, but even small reductions for short periods of time can earn you a reward.
Events are divided into 30-minute periods. So if you use less electricity than normal for just half an hour out of a 4-hour event, you’ll still be rewarded for what you saved during that half an hour.
We know it’s not always going to be practical to use less electricity than you normally would. There’s no penalty for using more, but you won’t earn a reward.
During these events your electricity use will be charged at your normal rate. So if you use more electricity, your payments may increase.
How do payments work?
To earn credit towards your bill you must have signed up to PeakSave and opted in to take part in the PeakSave Winter event. Unfortunately if you don’t opt in, you won’t get paid for any electricity you save.
Payments are calculated by multiplying the number of units of electricity you saved during the event (kWh) by the event unit price (£/kWh).
For example, you take part in a PeakSave Winter event between 5pm and 7pm. You normally use 1 kWh of electricity at this time, but during the event, you only use 0.7 kWh. You’ll be paid for the 0.3 kWh of electricity you saved.
If the event unit price was set by National Grid ESO at £3 per kWh, that’s 0.3 x £3, or 90p.
The amount you earn for taking part will depend on a few things, such as the price National Grid ESO sets for each event and how much electricity you save during it. Therefore, the amount you could earn may go up or down between events.
We round calculations to the nearest penny. For example, if we work out you’ve made £2.555 we round this up to £2.56. Or if our calculation was £2.554, it’s rounded down to £2.55.
We aim to credit your account within seven working days after the PeakSave event, but sometimes it may take up to two weeks. It will show up on your bill as ‘PeakSave Winter Credit’ so there’s no need to contact us to arrange payment.
Why do my payments change for each PeakSave Winter event?
The amount you earn for taking part in each PeakSave event will change based on how much electricity you saved compared to what you’d normally use. Also, the amount you can earn per unit of electricity saved can change between PeakSave events.
How can I use less electricity during a PeakSave Winter event?
Using less electricity than normal during a PeakSave Winter event could simply mean doing an everyday chore at a slightly different time.
As a general rule, electrical appliances that have moving parts and those that generate heat use the most electricity – washing machines, dishwashers, tumble dryers and electric showers, for example.
If you have an electric car, charging that outside of an event could save a significant amount of electricity. But for many households, meeting the 30% reduction target will be as easy as running the dishwasher a little earlier or later than usual.
For a rough idea of how much electricity common household appliances use, check out the table below.
|Appliance/Device||Average Power Rating
If in doubt, check the power rating of your appliances. You’re likely to find this in the user manual, on the appliance itself (perhaps on a sticker), or you can hunt it down online.
The power rating is usually given in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW). For reference, 1kW equals 1000W. This is the amount of electricity the appliance will use if powered continuously for an hour.
So if your washing machine’s power rating is 2kW, then a 1-hour cycle will consume 2kWh.
Is there anything I shouldn’t do to save electricity?
Yes, please never do anything dangerous. Never turn off medical equipment or similar devices, and please let us know if anyone in your household is vulnerable.
Don’t disconnect your fridge or freezer to save electricity either. They could warm up and spoil your food, making it unsafe to eat. Also, don’t swap your kitchen appliances and cook using a BBQ or open flame in the home. Not only do they pose a fire risk, but they can release carbon monoxide. Breathing in this toxic gas can be fatal, even in small doses.
Leaving certain appliances running overnight and unattended could also pose a fire risk. Don’t go to bed leaving the washing machine running, for example. Let the wash wait until tomorrow, when you can finish your post-event chores safely.
Can I use less gas during a PeakSave Winter event?
PeakSave Winter is only for electricity. If you use less gas during an event, you won’t earn any rewards.
Visit this page for more general information about PeakSave .
Read PeakSave terms and conditions here.
For each event, National Grid sets the price you earn per unit of electricity saved, measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). The amount you earn at this price is applied as a credit to your electricity account. If the amount you’ve earned is less than £1, we round the amount up to a £1. PeakSave Winter events are subject to eligibility criteria and terms and conditions, which can be found in full here.