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Households in Britain equipped with smart meters could soon be financially rewarded for avoiding the use of high-energy appliances during peak times this winter.

People who turn off washing machines and other devices which use higher levels of electricity could be paid in order to reduce the chance of blackouts.

New reports suggest that the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is looking into ways of reducing the pressures put on the power grid.

According to the Sunday Times, the ESO is applying to regulator Ofgem for approval and could implement the scheme by late October.

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Tumble dryers, dishwashers and games consoles are among the devices which use higher levels of energy, and avoiding the use of them from 5pm-8pm could earn them up to £6 per kilowatt hour (kWh) saved.

Households could be 'paid' as part of the scheme this winteriStock

A National Grid ESO spokesman said: “We are developing a new service that will be available for consumers to benefit from across this winter and will be announcing further information soon.”

It comes after a trial took place among Octopus Energy customers this year, with customers saving up to 20p for every kWh saved.

Many people’s household bills increase beyond what is affordable, while energy company’s see their profits increase – and RMT Union’s General Secretary Mick Lynch is one of the people who have shown their support for the Enough is Enough campaign.

The campaign launched by trade unions, community organisations and MPs is urging people to take direct action against rising costs, and is meant to place pressure on the government and businesses to act.

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