National Grid is asking UK companies how much electricity demand they will be able to cut next winter to help keep the lights on.
The network manager sent a request to some firms last week, asking for details and how much they would need to be paid to reduce operations, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. It didn’t disclose how many companies were asked.
National Grid is exploring all the options it has available to avoid blackouts this winter as the gas crisis threatens security of supply across Europe. Britain relies on the fuel for more than a third of its power generation, which would be at risk if Russian flows to Europe stop and stores run dry.
“To establish the viability of a commercial national demand service, the Electricity System Operator would like to know the likely megawatt volume suppliers could aggregate,” National Grid said in the document.
National Grid floated a price range for potential payments, ranging from £100 ($121.41) a megawatt-hour to as high as £6,000, according to the document.
A service is also being worked on for households to receive payments for reducing electricity use at peak times. This would be available to 27.8 million homes and small business with smart meters.
Many companies have on-site generation, like diesel generators that they use for back up in case of a power cut. These could be used temporarily reducing the demand for power from the grid.
National Grid declined to comment.