UK National Grid reportedly plans cheaper energy if you avoid peak-time use

Technology

Discounts on energy bills will reportedly be offered to UK households which avoid electricity usage during peak times.

This could mean rebates for those who avoid using consumer goods such as computers and games consoles between the hours of 5pm and 8pm each evening, BBC News wrote.

The scheme is reportedly being planned by the National Grid electricity system operator (ESO) for those with smart meters, with full details to be set out in the next two weeks after consultation with energy companies and UK regulator Ofgem.

The BBC’s article calls out video game consoles in particular as devices to be avoided during peak hours, with a possible saving of up to £6 per kWh.

However, speaking to Eurogamer today, a spokesperson for the National Grid suggested that individual devices would not be targeted specifically – and that the concept of the service was to reduce electricity around the home in general.

“We’d expect electricity suppliers to offer their customers guidance on what items they can look to reduce usage of once the service goes live,” a spokesperson told Eurogamer today.

In guidance published back in January this year, the UK’s Energy Saving Trust identified video games consoles among the third-largest tier of energy-draining appliances, behind “wet appliances” such as washing machines and dishwashers, and “cold appliances” such as fridges and freezers.

Consumer electronics, a category that includes games consoles, TVs and laptops – typically account for around six percent of energy bills, the trust claimed.

The average UK household will likely see energy bills totalling £3582 per year from October, before yet another rise to £4266 in January. At the same time, energy companies are reporting massive profits.

Earlier this year, British Gas was criticised for telling customers to turn off “vampire” devices – such as games consoles and laptops – in order to save money. Consumers claimed the energy giant was passing on bill blame.

Last year, Eurogamer took a detailed look at what gaming’s all-digital future meant for the climate crisis.