PeakSave Winter saves 147 MWh of energy

PeakSavers earned more than £1.8 million as part of  PeakSave Winter and saved enough electricity to power 750,000 homes for an hour.

Small cuts in energy use at certain times of day can have a big impact on the environment, our energy system, and your wallet. PeakSave rewards British Gas customers for reducing their electricity consumption for one hour during scheduled events to help balance the national grid when demand is high.

What is PeakSave and how does it work?

PeakSave started as a trial electricity reduction scheme that tested how to reduce consumption whilst also helping customers to save on their energy bills. Participating households were asked to reduce their usage during National Grid’s ‘turn-down’ events through the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) – a country-wide effort to ease the strain on the UK’s energy grid at peak times.

Over the winter months, British Gas customers with a smart meter that opted in to sending half hourly meter reads – called PeakSavers- were invited to take part in a series of one hour ‘turn down’ events during which they aimed to reduce their electricity consumption by 30%.

What is demand flexibility and why is it important?

Energy isn’t an unlimited resource and there’s times when the UK’s energy supply comes under pressure. Demand flexibility aims to balance energy supply and demand while enabling customers to save on their bills and help the nation transition to Net Zero carbon emissions.

Relieving pressure on the National Grid at peak demand times will make sure everyone gets the electricity they need to power their lives. And as increased demand at busy times is often met by burning fossil fuels, it'll help the grid be greener, too.

Catherine O’Kelly, Managing Director of British Gas Energy at British Gas, said:

“The electricity grid is facing increased pressure and smart technology has a key role to play in managing peak demand. Our PeakSave trial has been a big success, providing us with invaluable insights on how we can manage consumption while also helping our customers to make significant savings. Our final trial session helped us to test this even further so we can understand the full potential of the scheme while passing on even bigger savings to our customers.

“We’re excited about what the future of PeakSave can bring. 200,000 of our customers signed up to the scheme this time and the feedback has been fantastic – but what’s to come could be even better. As the UK’s largest energy and home services supplier, we were the first to champion the smart meter roll out and now have four million smart meter households.”

Using your washing machine at off-peak times helps ease the strain on the UK’s energy grid when demand is high.

How much did PeakSavers earn over the trial period?

While most large energy suppliers launched schemes to participate in the National Grid service, the incentives they offer for customers taking part vary.

British Gas PeakSave customers – PeakSavers – earned a combined total of more than £1.8 million and saved 147 MWh of energy over 12 events  – enough to power 750,000 homes for an hour. The savings to date equate to an average of £28.56 per customer – with the top 2 per cent saving £53 and the biggest saver making £332.

Throughout the trial British Gas paid customers double what was paid by the National Grid and other suppliers. For the final Peak Save session in the trial, British Gas paid customers three times the typical amount paid by National Grid, so it could fully test the scheme’s potential. That meant every British Gas customer who saved 1 kWh received a £9 pay-out directly on their bills.

The most common habits customers have been changing are their cooking times, clothes washing times and use of the dishwasher and tumble dryer.

How did PeakSavers feel about taking part?

Research from British Gas revealed overwhelming support from customers involved in the scheme, with 98% of those surveyed saying they would take part again in the future.

Simple updates to the times and ways households cooked (70%) and washed their clothes (70%) were the most common ways participants shifted their consumption, with changes to dishwasher (47%) and tumble dryer (46%) usage also listed. Some customers took the opportunity to exercise or walk their dog, others said they spent much-needed downtime chatting as a family.

What customers said is the best thing about PeakSave

  • A feeling of satisfaction and contribution to a greater good with a small financial benefit.
  • Taking a rest from technology - gave me time to do some exercise
  • My family members actually sat down and spoke to each other rather than all being in different rooms watching tv or listening to music.
  • It opened our eyes & made us aware that everyone has a part to play & protect this planet.
  • Help people to understand the real cost and how much energy we are wasting daily

What’s next for PeakSave?

PeakSave is available to British Gas customers with a smart meter.

We have exciting plans to expand the scheme to more customers with opportunities throughout the year to save on energy bills while supporting more sustainable use.  And, we’re expanding the PeakSave scheme with new innovative ways you can benefit, like linking your Hive EV charger to your British Gas account to get cheaper off peak electricity.