Electricity rebate

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I'm with octopus (got moved to them when my previous supplier Avro went under) and had them fit a smart meter last year.

I took part in their trial to reduce usage in allocated time periods to receive payments in reward. I think over the entire trial period I earnt a couple of pounds. Saving energy in peak periods was quite easy as I'd just cook my tea later and not put the washing machine or dishwasher on during that time, but in the trial there were also some odd times of day like early hours of the morning or mid morning when I would be asleep or out at work so I wasn't using much power anyway at that time so couldn't reduce my usage.

They calculated my savings against my historical usage which they had recorded from my smart meter. I opted in to having my meter send half hourly readings so they will have detailed statistics for my usage.

To be honest for the rewards offered during the trial for the trouble of cutting down usage it wasn't really worth the bother, but I would imagine national grid have realised this hence possibly rewarding people with up to £6 per KWh of reduced usage - for that much reward I'd put a lot more effort into cutting back in peak times!
 
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.... I would imagine national grid have realised this hence possibly rewarding people with up to £6 per KWh of reduced usage - for that much reward I'd put a lot more effort into cutting back in peak times!
If that figure is remotely correct, I think it must come with all sorts of qualifications/restrictions/limitations.

Were that not the case then, with a cost of, say 30p per kWh, one would only have to reduce ones usage during the relevant periods by less than 5% (actually about 4.76%) to reduce one's effective bill for usage during those periods to zero!

Kind Regards, John
 
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If that figure is remotely correct, I think it must come with all sorts of qualifications/restrictions/limitations.
It doesn't add up. At 20x the retail price it would surely be better spent building capacity rather than paying people to shift demand. Which isn't to say that demand shifting isn't a good idea, but surely not at that price.
 
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It doesn't add up. At 20x the retail price it would surely be better spent building capacity rather than paying people to shift demand. Which isn't to say that demand shifting isn't a good idea, but surely not at that price.
As per my comments about the arithmetic, I have to agree. As I said, one would (at 30p per kWh) only have to reduce one's consumption during peak periods by about 4.76% to reduce the cost of electricity during those periods to zero ;)

Kind Regards, John
 
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It doesn't add up. At 20x the retail price it would surely be better spent building capacity rather than paying people to shift demand. Which isn't to say that demand shifting isn't a good idea, but surely not at that price.
I wouldn't think theres enough time to build any meaningful amount of infrastructure in time for this winter now.
 
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If there is more renewables generation than demand (a windy night, for example) .....
I suppose it's theoretically not impossible, I must say that I've never seen that actually happen. Even with the essentially constant 24/7 contribution of nuclear, I don't recall ever having seen gas generation reduce to zero. Don't forget that if it gate "too windy", then wind generation decreases, because they have to feather the turbines in affected areas.
then the market price for energy could be negative for that period.
It is quite difficult to get one's head around that. If the situation you postulate (demand being less than renewable generation capacity) ever did arise, then one could understand generators (hence suppliers) wanting to try to shift some demand to use that available 'excess' (hence reducing demand at higher-demand times of day), but that could surely be achieved by reducing the price to a very low figure, maybe even zero - without the need to go 'negative', couldn't it?

Kind Regards, John
 
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I suppose it's theoretically not impossible, I must say that I've never seen that actually happen. Even with the essentially constant 24/7 contribution of nuclear, I don't recall ever having seen gas generation reduce to zero. Don't forget that if it gate "too windy", then wind generation decreases, because they have to feather the turbines in affected areas.

It is quite difficult to get one's head around that. If the situation you postulate (demand being less than renewable generation capacity) ever did arise, then one could understand generators (hence suppliers) wanting to try to shift some demand to use that available 'excess' (hence reducing demand at higher-demand times of day), but that could surely be achieved by reducing the price to a very low figure, maybe even zero - without the need to go 'negative', couldn't it?

Kind Regards, John
You're welcome to read what Octopus themselves have to say about it...

 
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You're welcome to read what Octopus themselves have to say about it...
Yes, I've seen that, but what they have to say about it is ...
Across the UK, whenever more electricity is generated than consumed, energy prices fall – sometimes to the point where prices drop below zero, and suppliers are paid to take energy off the grid.
... which really just 'shifts the buck' from them to the generators - and I still somewhat struggle to understand why it is ever necessary (or necessarily sensible/appropriate) for suppliers to be paid by generators for 'taking' their electricity.

Kind Regards, John
 
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You're welcome to read what Octopus themselves have to say about it...

What utter nonsense.

How do they separate the 'green' electricity from the other?

What a shame the wind generators and solar panels are not renewable.

 
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I still somewhat struggle to understand why it is ever necessary (or necessarily sensible/appropriate) for suppliers to be paid by generators for 'taking' their electricity.
Because it's cheaper to pay someone to take it than it is to shut down for an hour. Or it may be the case that there is not enough capacity in the grid to get power from the windy north to the demanding south [for example].
 
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How do they separate the 'green' electricity from the other?
They don't.
The electricity you get is from whatever happens to be generating at the time.

Octopus only buy electricity from renewable sources, as in they don't buy anything from gas, nuclear, coal and similar.
It's a choice about where money goes, rather than the specific electrons you get.

What a shame the wind generators and solar panels are not renewable.
They are in most places.
However that image is from the USA who are decades behind everyone else in reusing and recycling.
 
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Octopus only buy electricity from renewable sources, as in they don't buy anything from gas, nuclear, coal and similar.
It's a choice about where money goes, rather than the specific electrons you get.
True, but that only works so long as the companies concerned do not have too many customers (i.e. so long as not too many customers have 'Green tariffs'). Octopus (plus all the other companies which offer 'Green tariffs') cannot pay producers of 'renewable' energy for more energy than they are able to produce.

Hence, once all the 'renewable' energy produced has been paid for, suppliers have no choice but to pay for non-'renewable' electricity for their customers, even if they those customers have 'Green tariffs'.

In other words, 'Green tariffs' can only work (as intended) so long as not too many people sign up for them!

Kind Regards, John
 
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There are, of course, green tariffs and green tariffs...
Ecotricity, for example, specifically invest in creating new renewable energy production.

There are very occasional times when domestic TOU tariffs go into negative pricing - Agile was paying us to use electricity a handful of times last winter.

I find it quite difficult to get my head round how wholesale energy prices work - it all seems a bit mad, and I guess can lead to energy retailers selling energy at a quite a loss at times of high demand/low supply. So it can make financial sense for them to throw some money at switching that demand to times when they can buy cheaper.

Domestic TOU tariff rates are generally set and published about 24 hours ahead, so you do know what price you'll pay (or be paid) in advance.
 
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There are, of course, green tariffs and green tariffs... Ecotricity, for example, specifically invest in creating new renewable energy production.
Maybe, but that's obviously a very long-term matter. I would also presume that it means that those on such tariffs must be paying more than they would otherwise have to pay for the electricity alone, since they must be paying something 'extra' to be invested in future 'renewable' capacity - so it's presumably down to whether individuals want to pay for that.
There are very occasional times when domestic TOU tariffs go into negative pricing - Agile was paying us to use electricity a handful of times last winter.
As I've said, I find it hard to get my head around negative prices. As I said, I can understand the desire to incentive people to shift consumption from higher - to lower-demand times of day, but would think that could be achieved by low (or maybe even zero) prices, without the need to go 'negative' -which seems to make little sense.
I find it quite difficult to get my head round how wholesale energy prices work - it all seems a bit mad, and I guess can lead to energy retailers selling energy at a quite a loss at times of high demand/low supply. So it can make financial sense for them to throw some money at switching that demand to times when they can buy cheaper.
Anything which results in a better matching of demand and supply is obviously beneficial - and it seems that hiking the wholesale prices at times of highest demand seems to be the primary approach they use to achieve that. However, in many (perhaps 'philosophical') senses it seems to be a rather odd (and maybe 'unfair') thing to do.

After all, it generally costs the producers no more to produce electricity when there is high demand than when there is low demand - so it seems that they are merely increasing their prices (hence markedly increasing their profits) at periods of high demand in an attempt to persuade consumers to reduce the demand at such times.

In the case of 'luxury goods' I can see that there can be a (at least, 'commercial') argument for using exorbitant prices (hence, incidentally, profits) as a means of limiting demand (at least, sales) - but it does not really seem appropriate to use such an approach for something as essengtial as energy.

Don't forget that very many, probably most, people have a fairly limited ability to shift the pattern of their electricity usage during the day. I'm probably fairly exceptional in having managed (without storage heaters or EV charging) to move more than half my usage to low-demand times of day (and relatively little at highest-demand times) - but I doubt that many could achieve that! Again, it seems a bit unfair that people should be financial penalised for being in a situation which precludes much shifting of their demand.

Kind Regards, John
 

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