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The National Grid Introduces an Emergency Scheme to Prevent Blackouts 

As part of an emergency scheme to prevent blackouts on one of the coldest days of the year, more than a million households will be paid to reduce their electricity usage tonight. 

The National Grid is expected to reward those who participate in the Demand Flexibility Service by voluntarily reducing their usage between 5 and 6 p.m., preventing the nation’s supply from becoming overstressed. 

According to the Times, this is the first time National Grid has implemented its DFS scheme since it was first announced last November, as the UK braces for freezing temperatures this week. 

In another sign of supply constraints, the company is planning to use its backup coal plants at Drax in North Yorkshire and West Burton in Nottinghamshire today. 

It will be the first time the two coal-fired power plants have been warmed up on standby, ready to generate if needed. 

‘Our forecasts show electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Monday evening,’ said a spokesman for National Grid‘s electricity system operator. We have instructed coal-fired power plants to be ready to increase electricity supplies if necessary, tomorrow evening. 

‘This does not imply that electricity supplies are in jeopardy, and people should not be concerned. These are precautionary measures to keep the buffer intact. 

No one will be penalized for refusing to participate in the scheme, and those who do participate can use as much electricity as they want during peak hours. 

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