Smart Flex: tips for saving energy during peak hours

Smart Flex: tips for saving energy during peak hours

09 February 2024

We’re bringing the Smart Flex scheme to an end on 14 February to focus on moving our customers over to Octopus’s systems. Once you’re an Octopus customer, they’ll let you know how to join Saving Sessions, their own demand flexibility scheme.

Learn more about Saving Sessions.

In November, we launched Smart Flex, the scheme that offers customers the opportunity to win gift cards for using less electricity when demand is high.

As our contribution to National Grid ESO’s Demand Flexibility Service, Smart Flex is helping to ease the strain on the nation’s energy supply by encouraging customers to switch up their electricity use at peak times.

At the time of going to press, 37,000 customers have signed up to take part in Smart Flex. Events are being held thick and fast while demand for electricity is currently high. We’ve already held eight at the time of writing this article, with hundreds of gift cards won so far (and counting…).

Tips to flex your energy use

If you’ve signed up to the scheme but aren’t sure how to reduce your electricity use, we’ve got some helpful tips to get you started.

The simplest way to take part is by being flexible about when you use your most energy-hungry appliances – like the dishwasher, oven or washing machine. But if you’re looking for more inventive ways to get the whole family involved, here are some small changes that could help you use less energy during the events – typically for an hour or so in the early evening.

Go back to basics

Sometimes it can be the little things that add up to make a difference. If you’re looking to start small, check that any tech not being used is switched off at the plug. Leaving items on standby is an energy drain that’s often overlooked.

Once you’re on a roll, make sure you’ve only got the lights on in the rooms you’re actually using. Feeling like a pro already? You could even try charging devices ahead of the event so they’re ready to run on battery power.

Take an evening stroll

Going for a walk – or an adventure if you have children – is a fantastic excuse to turn off all appliances, lights and electronics and enjoy some fresh air.

In the darker months, don’t forget to wrap up warm, check you can be seen, and stick to well-lit routes to keep everyone safe. Not only will this reduce your usual energy consumption, but getting your steps in is great for your health and wellbeing too.

Hold a games night

If your evening routine involves hanging out on the sofa watching Netflix, use a Smart Flex event to help shake things up. Unplug the television and bring out the board games for some quality time with the family.

There’s nothing quite like games night to bring people together. The benefit to your electricity reduction? Being in one part of the house means you can switch everything else off.

Use larger appliances another time

We all know that the biggest energy drains in our homes are the larger appliances . A great way to hit your Smart Flex target is to use your washing machine or dishwasher at a different time of day, like when you’re first up in the morning.

Getting it all done outside peak hours will help lower your energy use during a Smart Flex event.

Stay safe

Above all, please stay safe while taking part in these events. While you might want to try a number of ways to reduce your energy use, there’s no benefit to sitting in a cold, dark house. Smart Flex should be simple, fun and a great way to help you take control of your electricity use – without any discomfort to you.

Win more when you use less

The more times you take part and the more energy you save, the more chances you have to win £20 gift cards. For every 0.05kWh you save, we’ll reward you with an entry into the prize draw for that event. We calculate what you’ve saved based on your normal energy use.

Plus, every Smart Flex event you take part in helps to balance the UK’s energy demand – so you’re supporting the nation in becoming more energy efficient.

Want to know more? Get more information about Smart Flex.