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Paid to use electricity this weekend (EVs, PowerWalls etc)
hobbsy - 23/5/20 at 01:03 PM

Interesting negative cost electricity events happening this weekend, and more frequently in general it seems as more renewable energy than ever (plus the effects of COVID-19).

These are the prices via Octopus energy (Agile tariff) today:


And I assume it'll be similar tomorrow as they've emailed all their customers (even not on Agile) so use electricity in two 2hr timeslots to prevent as blackout due to excess power on the grid(!)

So I'll get paid over 10p per unit to charge my i3 etc.

Tempted to look into DIY PowerWalls using used 18650 cells etc - anyone else doing this?

Octopus have an API and IFTTT access so setting up a smart plug to use appliances is easy. Shame I don't have a water tank as could use an immersion to sink a load.

Anyone interested in switching to them to take advantage of these events (or reduce bills through time shifting usage) I have a referral where we both get £50:

Before people deem it ungreen to use electricity, below is a more detailed fuller explanation about why they want people to use power during these events:

"Why is this happening?

This Bank Holiday weekend, the UK could face blackouts thanks to unprecedented changes in our national energy use brought on by the Coronavirus outbreak.

The UK's energy grid has to be balanced in real time, matching supply (the energy being generated) with demand (the energy we use). Too much or too little power going into the grid, and the system becomes unstable, which can cause blackouts.

Social distancing measures have led to record low energy demand as businesses and factories shut their doors. This Bank Holiday weekend, the UK's energy demand is set to reach new lows, and with sunny and windy weather on the horizon, there'll be a huge supply of solar and wind power that the UK can't use up.

   Right now, the grid is a little like an overstacked shelf, with a shopkeeper loading on more and more tins at a time when no one is taking them back off again. Eventually, the shelf will collapse.

There's two options to address this. The shop can either stop putting tins on the shelves, or, it could do something to encourage more people to take cans.   
The problem with ‘turning down' energy generation to stay balanced (i.e. no more new cans on the shelf), is that it will likely mean asking small solar and wind generators to switch off. It's a waste of green power, and could even harm small UK renewable generators as they lose the opportunity to sell their clean energy.

We've got a better idea.

Instead of turning down renewables, let's collectively ‘turn up’, increasing our energy use during the times when there's too much wind and solar power on the grid – i.e. taking the green ‘tins' off the overstacked shelf.

That's where you come in...

We want you to use as much power as you can between 2:00PM and 4:00PM on Sunday."

David Jenkins - 23/5/20 at 02:29 PM

I'm on Go's Agile tariff - it suits me as we have solar panels, an electric car and an intelligent charger that allows me to choose where the car's electricity comes from (entirely solar, entirely grid, or a mix of the two). We don't use much electricity during the super-expensive peak time of 16:00 - 19:00 (not that often, anyway) so we're happy.

As it happens, at the times where we would be paid for using electricity, we actually export what we generate so no gain for us - but if I was using my car more often (as I do normally, off-lockdown) I'd charge off the grid at the appropriate times. At least I get paid a flat rate, no matter what the demand or lack of it is at the time. At the moment about 10% or 11% of our electricity consumption comes off the grid. Mid-winter that might go up to 20%, but less often than you might think.

hobbsy - 23/5/20 at 04:06 PM

I've got a Zappi V2 which likely the same as you?

Got this in readiness for panels but not sure whether to get them again, have them on previous house with the full fat FIT payments but fail to get excited over a few pence per unit when I get 50p via FIT.

Are you in their outgoing Agile with the fixed payments per unit at like 5 or 6p?

I looked into V2G but I'd just got the i3 and the Zappi and you needed a Leaf and the V2G charger.

May get storage but depending on how often your car is parked outside and when it could double up...

David Jenkins - 23/5/20 at 05:29 PM

I've just realised that I've got my tariff wrong! I'm on Octopus Agile - Octopus Go is different. The rate changes every half-hour but, apart from 16:00 - 19:00, it's much cheaper than regular tariffs.

Mine is a Zappi v2 and, on the whole, I've very happy with it.

[Edited on 23/5/20 by David Jenkins]