Government brings in new energy rules

  • The Government initiative will be brought into effect next year
  • It will see consumers benefit from having appliances controlled via the internet
  • It could mean appliances are switched off during peak times to even out demand
  • Benefits will also be offered to households using solar power

Joe Sheppard For Mailonline

Energy firms could be allowed to switch off consumers’ freezers during times of high demand as part of a new Government plan designed to save billions in electricity bills.

The plans include measures to help develop smart appliances which respond to the grid, for example washing machines that come on at off-peak times when power is cheaper. 

They set out how Government, regulator Ofgem and the industry are rolling out smart meters and will bring in “smart tariffs” for consumers to pay less for off-peak power.  

benefits could be offered to a household that allows its freezer to be turned off briefly to help balance a spell of peak energy demand on the National Grid

benefits could be offered to a household that allows its freezer to be turned off briefly to help balance a spell of peak energy demand on the National Grid

While benefits could be offered to a household that allows its freezer to be turned off briefly to help balance a spell of peak energy demand on the National Grid

Offices that agree to turn down their air conditioning during times of high demand could also benefit.

National Grid chief executive Nicola Shaw has previously claimed that up to 50 per cent of grid demand fluctuations could be smoothed out by businesses and households adjusting consumption at peak times.

It is hoped that the new initiative will maximise the use of green energy while also saving consumers up to £40bn by 2020. 

The rules are also tipped to support those using solar panels by making it easier for them to generate energy, store it in batteries and sell it to the national grid.

A consumer could agree to have their washing machine switched on remotely from an online source on a sunny afternoon to maximise the use of cheap solar power.

A consumer could agree to have their washing machine switched on remotely from an online source on a sunny afternoon to maximise the use of cheap solar power.

A consumer could agree to have their washing machine switched on remotely from an online source on a sunny afternoon to maximise the use of cheap solar power.

Currently, solar-powered households are charged a tariff when importing energy into their homes or selling it. 

But now the Government has vowed these tariff’s will change to encourage more people to generate solar power.

Ms Shaw told the BBC: ‘We are at a moment of real change in the energy industry. From an historic perspective, we created energy in big generating organisations that sent power to houses and their businesses. Now we are producing energy in those places – mostly with solar power.’

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