British regulator OKs plan to pay homes to use less power this winter

LONDON (Reuters) – British energy regulator Ofgem has approved plans to pay homes to cut electricity use and help prevent power shortages this winter, it said on Friday.

Under the demand flexibility service (DFS), homes that are signed up with their suppliers are paid, usually via discounts on their bills, for turning off appliances such as ovens and dishwashers during a specific period when electricity demand is high.

In a separate announcement National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) said the service would be available from October 30 and that it will shortly publish a list of registered suppliers signed up to the scheme.

Some 1.6 million British homes joined the service last winter, saving over 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, or enough to power around 10 million homes, ESO previously said.

(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by Jason Neely)