Martin Lewis reveals how to get PAID to turn off appliances this winter – and you can save over £50 | The Sun

MARTIN Lewis has revealed how households can get paid to turn off their appliances this winter and save over £50.

He issued the advice on the latest episode of his ITV Money Show.

The Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) allows households to use less electricity than they normally do during certain hours and get paid for the difference.

It was first launched last year and designed to take pressure off the network during peak times. It has been relaunched for this winter.

Martin said it's worth signing up if you can, as it could save you over £50 overall.

"It's to balance supply and peak demand, so that they can not fire up fossil fuel plants as often as possible in peaks," he said.

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"To do it you need a smart meter and it needs to take readings every 30 minutes. Most of them will do that.

"All the big firms are doing it."

Martin went on to reveal a survey he did on 3,000 customers who used the scheme last winter found the vast majority only saved between £5 and £20.

However, 16% received £20 or more and 3% received £50 or over, so you could save a decent of cash.

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Martin also shared a number of apps that run similar schemes to the Demand Flexibility Service if your firm isn't signed up to the DFS.

Households can sign up to apps such as Equiwatt, Hugo, Loop and Utrack.

What is the Demand Flexibility Scheme?

The DFS launched last year with 1.6million households taking part in the scheme overall, saving around £11million.

It is running again between November this year and March 2024.

The scheme was set up by the National Grid, which operates Great Britain's electricity and gas supply.

It was first designed to prevent blackouts when demand for energy is high or supplies are low.

The National Grid tells energy suppliers when they can trigger the DFS and suppliers then contact customers asking them if they want to take part.

So if you are with British Gas, it, hypothetically, could email you and tell you to use less energy between 4-6pm one day.

The peak usage hours are typically from 4-7 pm but this may vary depending on your supplier.

Any electricity you don't use during the certain peak hours is paid back to you or issued as credit on your meter.

Who can take part?

The DFS was originally trialled with Octopus Energy, but other suppliers have since joined.

Firms including Octopus Energy, OVO, British Gas, E.On and Utilita are all part of this winter's scheme.

There is a full list of providers running the DFS on the National Grid's website.

Crucially, you will need a smart meter that can take readings every 30 minutes to take part and

Crucially, you will need a smart meter that can take readings every 30 minutes to take part and it's only available to households in England, Wales and Scotland.

You have to sign up through your supplier which may have already contacted you about taking part.

Once you have signed up, your supplier will be in touch via email or text when it is next running the service.

Each energy provider has its own eligibility criteria to take part in the scheme though and how much you can earn will vary.

How else to save money on energy bills

Millions of pensioners are in line for a bumper Winter Fuel Payment worth up to £600 in November or December.

You qualify for the payment if you were born before September 25, 1957 and, in most cases, live in the UK.

Letters should have been received in October or in November.

The vast majority of eligible households don't have to do anything and the tax-free payment will be made automatically.

You do not need to claim if you get any of the following:

  • State Pension
  • Pension Credit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Carers Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • awards from the War Pensions Scheme
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Death Benefit

You will need to claim if either:

  • you’ve not got the Winter Fuel Payment before
  • you’ve deferred your State Pension since your last Winter Fuel Payment

You may also need to claim even if you are on one of the above benefits and live abroad.

Check out the government's website for more details on countries where you can claim the payment from.

Any Winter Fuel Payments received won't impact any other benefit entitlements.

Meanwhile, you may also be able to get help with the cost of living via the Household Support Fund, worth £842million.

The pot of money has been split between councils in England who are allocating their share.

That means what you can get varies, from direct bank transfers to energy or food vouchers.

Usually help is offered to households on a low income or benefits.

If this is you, it's worth getting in touch with your local council to see what you might be eligible for.

You can find what council authority you fall under by using the Government's locator tool online.

You might also be eligible for a Cold Weather payment from the government.

You receive £25 for every seven-day period where temperatures are consistently below zero degrees.

You also have to be on one of the following:

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  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Support for Mortgage Interest

Households in Scotland have to apply for the Winter Heating Payment instead.

You can also join our new Sun Money Facebook group to share stories and tips and engage with the consumer team and other group members.

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