Turn Down and Save

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Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is Turn Down and Save?

Turn Down and Save pays Loop customers for using less electricity at peak times this winter.

At peak times it’s expensive for National Grid to balance supply and demand. National Grid pays some of the most expensive electricity generators to generate electricity at peak times. But it also pays factories and businesses to reduce their usage. This can often be cheaper than turning more generators on. Turn Down and Save extends the same offer to Loop customers. If you can use less electricity during peak periods Loop will pay you a reward.

 

Why is it happening?

National Grid has to balance supply and demand of electricity every second of every day.

 

But our demand for electricity varies all the time. The demand over a day in January this year is shown in the graph below. The peak demand at 5:30pm is 70% higher than the low overnight demand.  

 

To support this peak demand more generation turns on. As you’d expect, the cheapest generation is used first. This comes from wind, solar, nuclear and the most efficient gas plants. But as demand peaks, increasingly expensive generation is needed.

 

This is where Turn Down and Save comes in. Rather than turning on expensive generation, National Grid will pay households via Loop to reduce their use at peak times. 

 

Turn Down and Save saves National Grid money and Loop’s customers money. It’s a win-win.

 

Who can sign up?

Turn Down and Save is available to everyone with an electricity smart meter.

 

Existing Loop Users can sign up to Turn Down and Save here.

 

If you don’t have a Loop account already, click here to set up your free Loop account – once your account is active we’ll email you with instructions on how to sign up to Turn Down and Save.

 

How do I sign up?

You must be a Loop user to sign up to Turn Down and Save.

 

Existing Loop Users can sign up to Turn Down and Save here.

 

If you don’t have a Loop account already, click here to set up your free Loop account – once your account is active we’ll email you with instructions on how to sign up to Turn Down and Save. 

When are Turn Down and Save events?

Our first event is 17.00 – 18.00 on Thursday 1st December 2022

 

We’ll notify all users of future events as they are announced by National Grid.

Is it for electricity only, or gas, or other fuels too?

Turn Down and Save is only available for electricity.

 

Can I sign up if I have an export tariff (e.g. customers with solar panels)?

Yes, but calculations of energy saved will be based on your import meter data only.

 

Can I sign up for this and other Demand Flexibility Schemes?

You can only take part in one provider’s scheme.

 

Why is Loop running Turn Down and Save?

The energy crisis is putting an immense strain on households. As you’d expect, energy news is being reported through the prism of the crisis. 

 

But Turn Down and Save is about more than just keeping the lights on. It marks a shift. Balancing the grid is moving away from turning on more and more expensive generation at peak times. The future is smart, clean tech in houses up and down the country, scheduling when they use energy to best support the grid. 

 

Customers don’t care if their electric car charges at 5pm or 2am as long as it’s charged when they need it. Home batteries can do far more than just store spare solar energy for the evening. And even white goods have the potential to choose when to use energy.

 

This smart energy future is central to Loop’s vision. The cost savings from having solar on your roof, a battery in your garage and an electric car on your drive are huge. Optimising how you use both your home grown and grid electricity adds to the savings. But it’s not just about cost. It’s a much greener, cleaner, sustainable way to power your home.

 

Will Loop be running more of these schemes in the future?

If National Grid runs more events we will participate.

 

Incentives

How much money might I get paid?

Provided you reduce your usage by at least 40% of your baseline (your normal usage for the same period), we will pay you approximately £3 per kWh saved.

So for example, if your baseline for the event duration was 1kWh and you reduced it to 0.5kWh we would pay you £1.50.

 

NB: The rate per kWh will vary per event – which will be confirmed by the National Grid, but we anticipate it will be approximately £3/kWh on average.

 

How will I be paid?

You’ll be paid via an Amazon voucher.

 

When will I be paid?

Payment will take place after the last Turn Down and Save event of this winter. This will be no later than April 2023.

 

Smart Meters

Why do I need a smart meter to sign up?

In order to measure how much you’ve reduced your usage, National Grid insists on each home taking part having a working smart meter.

 

What if my smart meter’s in-home display isn’t working?

The in-home display isn’t required to be working. We only need the electricity smart meter to be working.

 

What will happen if you can’t get (enough) readings from my meter during an event?

If we’re unable to receive your meter readings to calculate your usage, we’ll work it out using an average across all users.

 

What happens if my meter stops working/is no longer connected to the smart meter network?

Contact your energy supplier to get it fixed. If we can’t get regular half-hourly readings from your meter you may no longer be eligible to take part.

 

I don’t have a smart meter - how can I get one?

You need to ask your electricity supplier to install a smart meter for you. Most of the major suppliers should be able to arrange installation within a few weeks (depending on location, current demand etc.)

 

Events

How many events will there be?

There will be between 10 and 20 events.

 

When will the events be?

They will take place between November 2022 and March 2023. We expect the events to be on weekday evenings and to last for at least 1 hour.

 

How much notice will I get about each event?

We will send you an email the day before the event to let you know about it.  We’ll also remind you by email on the day and shortly before the event starts. 

 

Do I need to sign up to each event?

Yes. Loop will email you a day before each event. You must opt in to the event. Instructions on how to opt in will be in the email.

 

What happens if I don’t reduce my electricity use (or if it increases) during an event?

You cannot lose money. If your usage increases or you don’t hit the target reduction you won’t be eligible for a payment for that event but there is no financial penalty to you.

 

I don’t think I can reduce my usage further - should I sign up?

It’s not necessarily about reducing usage, it’s about changing when you use electricity away from peak times: e.g. if you have electric heating could you heat up your home ahead of an event, or can you do any cooking (with electricity) or laundry before or after the event? If you make a small reduction compared to your normal usage you will get some benefit.

 

I’m on a flexible tariff which encourages me to reduce my usage at peak times already - should I sign up?

You’re unlikely to get much benefit from the scheme, which is geared more towards encouraging more people to use electricity flexibly.

 

How is my baseline usage calculated?

This is calculated using a formula agreed by OFGEM. It uses your smart meter data from recent days of the same type (weekdays are compared with weekdays, weekends with weekends, and bank holidays and event days are excluded). Your average usage at the event time is calculated. This average is then adjusted on the day itself to give your baseline usage. This on the day adjustment is based on your usage in the hours before the event and aims to reflect any effects due to the weather on the event day.

 

How will you calculate how much energy I have saved?

We will obtain your usage during the event from your smart meter. This will then be compared to your baseline usage to calculate a saved amount.

 

How will you calculate how much money I will be paid?

Provided you reduce your usage by at least 40% of your baseline (your normal usage for the same period), we will pay you close to £3 per kWh saved.

 

So for example, if your baseline for the event duration was 1kWh and you reduced it to 0.5kWh we would pay you £1.50.

 

NB: The rate per kWh will vary per event – which will be confirmed by the National Grid, but we anticipate it will be approximately £3/kWh on average.