May 13, 2024

equiwatt Users Save 54MWh of Electricity in Demand Flexibility Scheme with powerDOWN Events

equiwatt users have earned more than £90,000 this winter and helped to shift enough electricity to power over 125,000 UK homes for an hour by taking part in National Grid ESO's Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) this winter. 

With the winter months now behind us, all of us at equiwatt are thrilled to share the outstanding achievements of our community in the National Grid ESO's DFS.

Through our innovative powerDOWN events, equiwatt users demonstrated their commitment to energy conservation while earning rewards and making a significant impact on carbon reduction efforts.

The Demand Flexibility Service explained

Before diving into the accomplishments of our users, let's shed some light on what the DFS entails. The DFS, run by National Grid ESO, was introduced in winter 2022/23 and aims to reduce strain on the electricity grid at the busiest times of the day. This is important as ESO is responsible for making sure that Great Britain has all the energy it needs every day.

equiwatt was the first non-energy provider to give households the opportunity to take part regardless of who their energy supplier is. By collectively using less electricity at the busiest times of the day, equiwatt users helped to mitigate the reliance on traditional, carbon-intensive power sources such as gas and coal which are often used to meet increases in demand at peak times.

By encouraging consumers to reduce electricity usage during peak demand periods, the DFS helps UK households reduce their energy usage and contribute to a more sustainable energy ecosystem.

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What are powerDOWN events?

At equiwatt, we believe in empowering individuals to make a real difference in energy consumption habits. Our powerDOWN events form a cornerstone of this mission.

powerDOWN events were run over the winter months between November and March as part of National Grid ESO's DFS and incentivised users to reduce electricity usage during peak hours through our user-friendly app. However, this winter did not mark the beginning of these events. Even before National Grid ESO launched its DFS, equiwatt had already run over 300 powerDOWN events for our community since launching back in 2018.

Regardless of their energy supplier, anyone with a connected smart meter that sends half-hourly readings can participate in powerDOWN events, making sustainable and rewarding energy saving accessible to all.

Once signed up for our powerDOWN events, equiwatt app users were invited to take part in 14 powerDOWN events via app notifications and email during which they were encouraged to reduce their electricity usage below their expected usage for that time and day.

Throughout the DFS, equiwatt paid users taking part in powerDOWN events, 90% of the rewards on offer from National Grid ESO. These payments were awarded as points after each event, which users can use to redeem for a range of high street vouchers, smart technology or donations to charity.

DFS blog post - washingequiwatt users only had to make slight adjustments to their routines and habits such as changing their cooking and washing times to earn points and rewards during powerDOWN events.

Celebrating Achievements

Now, let's delve into the remarkable accomplishments of our community during the winter powerDOWN events:

  • Total Energy Shifted: Our dedicated users shifted a staggering 54.38 MWh of energy. This amount of electricity could power approximately, 125,000 homes in the UK for one hour, highlighting the impact of their commitment to energy conservation on the grid.

  • Value of Points Earned: Through their participation, the equiwatt community amassed a remarkable total of 9,313,996 points, equivalent to £93,139.96 in rewards, with another £9,000 earned via our monthly prize draw! 

  • Carbon Reduction: The impact of our community goes beyond just saving electricity; with over 37 tonnes of CO2 reduced across the 14 events. This is the equivalent amount of CO2 absorbed by 1,682 mature trees in a year, underscoring the crucial role that cutting electricity usage plays in mitigating environmental impact.

  • Individual Achievement: Among our users, the accolades also extend to individual achievements. Our biggest saver shifted an impressive 9.49 kWh of energy in a single event, showcasing the power of individual action in driving substantial change, something that is likely to increase with the adoption of more low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.

Why are schemes like powerDOWN events important?

Across the UK, there are times when our energy supply comes under pressure. This is because energy is not an unlimited resource and renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar are variable. This means that we need certain conditions in order to generate energy such as wind or sunshine.

As a result, in order to be able to make the most of renewable energy and move away from reliance on traditional fossil fuel generation, we need a way to balance supply and demand on the grid. This is where demand flexibility comes in.

Demand flexibility is the name given to the process that aims to balance the supply and demand of energy across the grid. In essence, powerDOWN events work as a form of demand flexibility as they help to relieve pressure on the grid at peak times by encouraging homes to use less energy, helping everyone to get all the electricity they need whilst avoiding the need to burn fossil fuels.

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Looking Ahead

As we celebrate these achievements, we remain committed to fostering a culture of sustainability and empowerment within our community by giving everyone the chance to get rewarded for doing their bit to use their energy more flexibly.

Through ongoing innovation, exciting trials and collaboration with like-minded businesses, we will continue to lead the charge towards a more resilient and eco-conscious energy future for the UK and beyond.

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Join Us

If you're passionate about sustainability, eager to make a difference, or looking to reduce your energy usage at home and get rewarded for minimum effort, we would love for you to join our community and participate in future powerDOWN events. 

Download the free app today and join us in shaping a more sustainable world, one event at a time.

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