A trial service from National Grid—called Demand Turn Up—will from 1 May pay businesses to use more electricity at set times.

Reported in The Times on 11 April, the scheme will offer cash payments to businesses to absorb excess electricity generation, mainly from wind or solar power, at times of low demand. The trial was oversubscribed with 21 companies showing interest. Among those keen to take advantage are water companies, which could opt to switch on their hydraulic sewage pumps at odd times of the day or night.

National Grid said that the initial contract was for 300MW of demand. A spokeswoman said the company hoped in the future to “be able to do lots more”.

The scheme could be expanded in 2017.

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