UK households paid to use electricity during Covid-19 lockdown

This happened as a surge in renewable generation on the weekend coincided with low demand caused by the coronavirus lockdown

The Big Zero report

Thousands of British homes were paid to use electricity during daytime last Sunday as wind and solar projects produced a surge in clean energy.

On this day, windfarms contributed almost 40% of the UK’s electricity, while solar power made up nearly a fifth of the power system – meanwhile, fossil fuels made up less than 15% of electricity produced.

At the same time as this surge in production, the country’s energy demand was down around 10% due to the coronavirus lockdown.

This resulted in ‘the lowest price for day-ahead prices for energy in a decade’ and households using the Agile Octopus energy tariff were contacted on Saturday informing them they would be paid to use energy from 11am to 4pm, earning between 0.22p and 3.3p per kWh.

A spokesperson from Octopus Energy said: “Our first-of-its-kind Agile tariff is how we pay customers to use electricity when there is an abundance of green electrons on the grid.

“It tracks wholesale energy prices and passes them on to customers so that when the grid is offering negatively priced green energy, those people with a smart meter and on our agile tariff can benefit.”

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