Eligible households across the UK could earn discounts on their energy bills by cutting back on their energy usage this evening.

The National Grid ESO (electricity system operator) is activating its demand flexibility service (DFS) tonight, between 5pm and 6.30pm.

The service entitles homes with smart meters, who are signed up to the scheme through their supplier, to discounts on future bills for cutting their electricity use during periods of high demand.

More than 1.6million households and businesses participated in the scheme last year, with £11 million being paid out.

This year’s programme launched at the start of November and will run until March 31.

During that period, 12 one-hour tests will take place, although in some cases, such as tonight, an individual test could last longer.

Those who have signed up for the scheme should try and reduce their energy consumption during these hours, which they will be alerted of beforehand.

But are you eligible to take part in this year’s Demand Flexibility Service scheme?

Who is eligible for Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) scheme

In order to be eligible for the DFS scheme you must have a smart meter that can provide meter readings every half an hour, and be signed up with an energy supplier participating in the scheme.

These are some of the energy suppliers taking part:

  • British Gas
  • EDF
  • E.On Next
  • Octopus Energy
  • OVO Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Utilita Energy

You can see a full list of suppliers taking part on the ESO’s website here.

The National Grid ESO said that many retail energy suppliers are taking part in the ESO’s DFS this year and will likely contact you if they are taking part.

Several online/app providers can provide access to the service by linking directly to your smart meter data without contacting your energy provider.

You should note that only one household can take part with one DFS-registered provider at any time.