The DFS. Gain control of your energy bills: All about the demand flexibility service in the UK

Written by Jason Hutchinson
3 Min read

What is the Demand Flexibility Service?

The National Grid ESO has developed a new ‘Demand Flexibility Service’ (DFS), which helps households save money on energy costs by running their appliances during off-peak hours, typically overnight. Running washing machines, tumble dryers, and dishwashers in this way can reduce energy bills, while still providing the same level of convenience and comfort.

How can I save money by running appliances during off-peak times?

Under the DFS scheme, households will receive a financial incentive for allowing their appliances to be run during times of low demand. The incentives change depending on the size of the appliance, the time of day, and the type of service. This means that if people use their appliances when prices are lower, they could save hundreds of pounds each year. Households with more than one appliance can enjoy even greater savings.

Illustration of batteries and light bulb related to DFS demand flexibility service

What are the safety risks associated with running appliances at night?

There are some safety concerns that consumers should be aware of when using the DFS scheme. Electrical fires are the primary risk, caused by overloaded plug sockets or worn-out cables and plugs. Consumers should ensure that their home is fitted with working smoke alarms and regularly check cables and plugs for wear and tear. It’s also recommended to not overload plug sockets and to clean filters regularly, as lint and debris can build up and cause fire hazards. If users think there may be a problem with an appliance, they should immediately unplug it and contact the retailer, manufacturer, or a qualified repair technician.

Is the DFS available to all energy suppliers?

At present, the DFS scheme is only available to certain energy suppliers. It’s worth contacting your supplier directly to see if they are participating in the scheme, as well as checking to see if any other offers are available.

What are the benefits of running appliances during off-peak hours?

By taking advantage of the DFS scheme, households can enjoy considerable savings on electricity bills. In addition, running appliances during off-peak times can help alleviate strain on the grid, meaning that households have access to a more reliable energy source. This can be especially beneficial during days of extreme weather, such as heat waves or storms. Finally, running appliances at off-peak times greatly lowers the risk of electrical fires and other accidents, as the chances of overloading circuits are significantly reduced.

Expert tip:

For added peace of mind, consider investing in surge protectors to ensure that your appliances are protected when running during off-peak hours. Surge protectors can help safeguard against power surges that may cause serious damage to electrical equipment.

What can I do if my supplier is not offering the DFS?

If your energy supplier is not offering the Demand Flexibility Service (DFS), you still have some options to reduce your energy bills. Many suppliers give customers discounts if they agree to turn off their appliances for a short time, like during peak hours. Other suppliers offer time-of-use tariffs, which charge more for energy used during peak times and less for energy used during off-peak times.

What types of appliances can be controlled with The DFS?

The Demand Flexibility Service is designed to work with any appliance, from washing machines and dishwashers to ovens and tumble dryers. It’s important to check with your energy supplier to make sure that your particular model of the appliance is compatible with the system.

What are some other ways I can make my home more efficient?

In addition to the Demand Flexibility Service, households should consider other ways to save energy. This could include switching to LED lighting, installing insulation, and using energy-efficient appliances. These steps can help to lower energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Is there any way to monitor how much electricity my appliances are using?

Yes – most modern appliances come with an energy rating label, which shows how much electricity the appliance is expected to use over a given period. This information can be used to compare the energy efficiency of different models, as well as monitor energy usage in the home and identify any potential savings.

Can I opt out of the Demand Flexibility Service at any time?

Yes – users can opt out of the Demand Flexibility Service at any time by contacting their energy supplier. It’s important to remember that opting out may mean losing any financial incentives that were previously available.

Appliances made simple. 

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