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10th Nov 2022

New Utilita scheme rewards customers for not using energy during peak times

Jack Peat

Customers will be incentivised not to use energy between 17:00 – 22:30 

One of the UK’s biggest energy companies is launching a new trial that rewards customers for not using energy during peak times.

Currently being tested by 1,000 customers, the ‘Power Payback’ feature could save all of those who subscribe to Utilita £61m annually.

They’ll be incentivised to avoid usage between the hours of 17:00-22.30 by crediting their meters equivalent to the supplier’s cost savings.

As part of the trial, customers will receive an SMS notification one hour before each ‘payback’ event, of which there will be one per week.

If successful, the energy supplier plans to offer the scheme to all eligible customers from winter 2023 onwards.

George Walters, chief home services officer, said: “As a result of consumer champions encouraging suppliers to compete not on value, but price, during the last decade, households have been able to access energy at an unsustainably low price, hence why more than 30 suppliers who joined the race to the bottom have folded.

“As a result, many households have got into the habit of using whatever energy they want, and whenever they want, which comes at a high price today.

“For households who are able and willing to avoid peak times, there are some substantial savings to be made.”

“It’s important to clarify that the fearmongering of power blackouts this winter must be detached from the innovations associated with peak-time energy savings.

“Our Power Payback trial has been in development for well over a year and has nothing to do with the very unlikely event that the National Grid is forced to ask customers to use less energy.”

According to usage data, Utilita estimates its customers have the potential to earn £61.2m by avoiding energy usage during peak times.

This would also cut carbon emissions by equivalent to driving 600,000 miles, according to the energy company.

These savings could also be increased by following the bespoke energy efficiency advice available on the company’s Smart Score app feature, which helps households to save up to a fifth on their energy usage.

Archie Lasseter, sustainability lead from the energy firm, said: “The associated carbon saving is just over seven per cent of last year’s total Utilita carbon footprint.

“At the moment we aim to reduce our carbon footprint by a little over nine percent a year to meet our net zero targets, so that is a great potential contribution.”

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