Thousands of UK homes will be paid to use electricity during the day for the first time, as renewable energy sources such as wind and solar projects produce a surge in clean energy during the coronavirus lockdown.
On Sunday 5 April, wind farms contributed almost 40 per cent of the UK’s electricity, while solar power made up almost a fifth of the power system. Fossil fuels made up less than 15 per cent of electricity, of which only 1.1 per cent came from coal plants.
Due to the closedown of pubs, restaurants, companies and factories across the UK, the country’s energy demand has fallen by around 10 per cent, which has led to the lowest electricity prices in 10 years.
Households on a new breed of home energy tariff will even be paid to use electricity during the day because sunny weather and a brisk breeze will help generate ample clean electricity to meet the UK’s lower energy needs.
These “negative electricity prices” have only been previously available to homes overnight, when demand is typically at its lowest. But the impact of the coronavirus lockdown and the bright spring weather means some homes will be able to earn money while using clean electricity during the day for the first time.
Octopus Energy contacted households which use their Agile Octopus tariff, to inform them that they would be paid for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity they used during the sunniest hours of Sunday afternoon.
From 11 am-4 pm, those customers will earn 0.22p-3.3p per kWh to make use of the UK’s abundant clean energy, the company said.
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