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Energy suppliers could pay households to use less electricity this evening as the National Grid rolls out plans to manage demand for supplies.

The trial, expected to occur between 5 pm and 6 pm on Monday, comes as the country faces a day of sub-zero temperatures and soaring demand for power.

Close to a million people have signed up for the scheme, which could pay them up to £10 a day to reduce their energy consumption at times of peak demand.

Participating in this energy reduction programme could include deferring the washing machine and dishwasher for an hour or waiting until overnight to charge an electric car.

It will be the first use of the Demand Flexibility Service, which has previously been trialled, as the National Grid experiences strain on its energy supply.

Coal-fired power stations are also on standby to provide backup electricity on Monday evening if required.

A National Grid spokesperson said: “Our forecasts show electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Monday evening.

“This does not mean electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried. These are precautionary measures to maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need.”

The National Grid introduced the Demand Flexibility Service last year following concerns about power outages over the winter due to disruptions in international gas markets prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK has less electricity generation capacity due to the closure of older nuclear power plants and a greater focus on renewable sources, which are less reliable during the winter.

Participating households do not have to participate in the scheme once notified by their energy supplier, with the payment based on their supplier and how much energy they usually consume.

During the testing phase of the scheme, suppliers paid households £3 per kilowatt-hour saved, with a higher payment expected once the project goes live.

Participating suppliers include Octopus Energy and British Gas, which will be available to households with a second-generation smart meter.

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