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Discussion Starter #1
Really chuffed to get this from Octopus this morning (I'm on Go tariff):

This weekend, low demand for energy combined with lots of renewable energy means renewable sources might have to shut down.

We're running a special invitation only trial to see if home customers can help — and you're invited.

If you'd like to join in and help keep these generators online, you will be paid 2p / kWh for every unit of electricity you use between 3:00AM and 6:00AM on Sunday.

Sound good?

This offer is strictly limited so let us know if you want to take part — it only takes a second to opt in, but you must let us know before 6pm today if you would like to be paid for your electricity.
 

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Sounds great.. wish they would sort out my SMETS2 meter connection issues so we could join in. Have been with Octopus since end of Feb, since when our SMETS2 meter lost its connection to the network and hasn’t been on since.. Various calls to customer services hasn’t helped. Has to be a software issue somewhere. :(
 

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I just got the same email but it was for 1pm - 4pm Sunday and they will pay 2p/kWh used. I got quite excited about this and worked out how much I could make.

With 2 electric cars on the drive I could charge 1 at 6.6kW and one at 2.4kW. Then I could do some baking, run the dishwasher, a couple of loads of washing. After allowing for 7kWh from the solar panels I may use 25kWh and make up to a whole 50p - if I could find somewhere to go in the cars to get the SoC low enough first.

In reality I can't even use what the solar generates most days and I'm only using less than 7kWh per day and virtually none from 1 - 4pm.
 

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If it's for things you would be running anyway you can add the usual cost to your calculations, instead of paying 5p to charge the car your bring paid 2p so saving 7p. Times that by 25kWh and the savings are a little bigger.
If you're driving just to empty the battery there's costs to that beyond the cost of the electricity and it wouldn't be free motoring.
 

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I was offered only 4-5 am on Sunday. I'm curious to know if the slot offered is randomly generated or related in any way to usage patterns - I imagine the former.
 

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I was offered only 4-5 am on Sunday. I'm curious to know if the slot offered is randomly generated or related in any way to usage patterns - I imagine the former.
Or may be related to area of the country - pricing does vary by region.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just got the same email but it was for 1pm - 4pm Sunday and they will pay 2p/kWh used. I got quite excited about this and worked out how much I could make.

With 2 electric cars on the drive I could charge 1 at 6.6kW and one at 2.4kW. Then I could do some baking, run the dishwasher, a couple of loads of washing. After allowing for 7kWh from the solar panels I may use 25kWh and make up to a whole 50p - if I could find somewhere to go in the cars to get the SoC low enough first.

In reality I can't even use what the solar generates most days and I'm only using less than 7kWh per day and virtually none from 1 - 4pm.
I don't have solar so perhaps more exciting for me - seems a major inflexion point, an energy supplier paying me to use its electricity!? When I'm not even on the agile tariff? They are still paying me to charge my car and get ~100miles of driving range 🙂
 

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I was offered only 4-5 am on Sunday. I'm curious to know if the slot offered is randomly generated or related in any way to usage patterns - I imagine the former.
I got 2pm to 3pm on Sunday, but as I didn't read the mail until 7.45pm it's all a bit moot.
 

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I got 1pm to 4pm on Sunday (I live in West London). My car's battery is at about 50% so will plug it in, it's also going to be a cool day so we'll probably take turn the electric fire on early. I know it's not going to make much difference to the bill at the end of the day but collectively we might change the day's consumption and flatten the evening peak while effectively using some of that excess energy. As the email says it's an experiment for them to see if they can sway their consumers into shifting their load to times that suit the grid and I applaud Octopus for it. My car will give me back 25p or so and charging it overnight on the go tariff would have cost me 75p so maybe overall saving will be around £1. Hopefully Octopus will get some useful data for their outlay.
 

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It's interesting they are offering this to non agile customers. Talk on the Octopus forum is that negative prices won't happen on Agile as Sizewell B is going to be running at half power and wind generation can be turned down/off too.
I wasn't going to charge the cars today using solar of Agile was going to be very cheap Sunday. After reading about the agreement for Sizewell B and wind decided to plug in anyway and make use of the solar generation. At least I know I won't need to pay for electricity Sunday.
 

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Lowest prices for Sunday on Agile seem to be 6am -to 8am. Almost free but not negative
Too much notice meant they had time to turn Sizewell down...looks like we need poor weather / demand forecasting for price plunges!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The Octopus email has got me looking at gridwatch.co.uk. Currently 59% renewables, with gas down at 18% for electricity generation. Amazing progress!
 

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It is, but the figures are flattered by the current lack of demand caused by Covid-19. Rightly the Grid has chosen to reduce supply from non-renewables including nuclear whilst continuing to accept all of the generation from renewables.
 

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It is, but the figures are flattered by the current lack of demand caused by Covid-19. Rightly the Grid has chosen to reduce supply from non-renewables including nuclear whilst continuing to accept all of the generation from renewables.
It's a financial decision, renewables receive subsidies on each unit of electric they generate, this is seperate to the payment for their energy. So renewables will always run, even if the power is worth nothing, just to get the subsidies. If grid want to turn them down or off, grid will typically have to pay them substantial payments not to run, to replace the subsidy payments they would lose.

Grid need a certain amount of controllable, flexible generation at all times to manage the system which is normally provided by thermal plant which can ramp up and down as needed. Nuclear is more inflexible so isn't used to provide this.
 

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It's a similar reason to why Enron built a large power station on Teesside, near to the nuclear station at Hartlepool. When the nuclear plant was generating, there wasn't enough transmission capacity for the Enron plant to run flat out, but it was paid compensation for the power it couldn't generate because of grid constraints. They took gaming the system to the next level
 
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