Householders to get €100 to power off at peak times
Householders can save up to €100 by reducing electricity consumption for 30 minutes on 10 separate occasions throughout the year.
The Power Off and Save programme from national grid operator EirGrid and Electric Ireland is aimed at reducing consumption at key times during the day, including the evening peak, to reduce pressure on the system.
Some 1,500 customers will be signed up to the pilot programme, which will run for 18 months. They will not be required to turn off appliances. Instead, they will be asked to delay turning on the dishwasher or to turn off lights in an unused room until after peak periods of demand.
"We are delighted to be one of the first national grid operators in Europe to trial this innovative programme for residential customers," said EirGrid chief executive Fintan Slye.
"We know the system of managing demand works in industry, as it is already in operation for business customers. We believe it will also work for residential customers, helping them to play a role in managing usage for the benefit of the grid and the environment."
Electricity demand fluctuates depending on the time of day, or month of the year. On Monday, when Ireland played Sweden in their opening game of Euro 2016, electricity use dropped following kick-off, as the country settled down in front of the television and stopped using electric showers, appliances and lights in other rooms. At half time, demand suddenly spiked as kettles were boiled - before it settled again for the second half.
The Power Off and Save programme aims to manage demand on the grid by asking customers to avoid using appliances that are unnecessary at that time.
Participants will also be given information on their consumption to educate them on their energy use, and help reduce bills.
The pilot is being managed by Electric Ireland, which will begin recruiting customers from today.
The scheme is open to customers of any utility company.
Those who sign up will be contacted to turn off unnecessary appliances for 30 minutes in their home on 10 occasions over the duration of the programme. Customers will be rewarded with up to €100 over the course of the programme based on the level of participation, and the scheme will be rolled out nationally in 2018.