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Back to Press Releases 27 October 2022

ESB Networks unveils new Beat The Peak initiative to help customers take control of their electricity use and reduce electricity demand at times of peak events

  • Suite of measures expected to save approximately 40 megawatts this winter, rising to 160 megawatts over the next two winters, equivalent to powering between 18,000 and 72,000 homes per day. 
  • Households across the country are encouraged to take action to use electricity outside of peak times and on days of high peak demand across the country (amber alerts), they will be sent a personalised SMS so they can act. 
Dublin, 27 October 2022: ESB Networks has today launched ‘Beat The Peak’, a range of targeted initiatives to help Ireland’s electricity system during winter evenings when demand is traditionally at its highest between 5.00pm and 7.00pm.   
Beat The Peak is being implemented as part of a wider suite of initiatives led by Government and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, along with other agencies’ efforts to ensure citizens remain warm and well, while shifting electricity demand from peak times.  
Beat the Peak will pilot measures aimed at reducing electricity demand by between 40 and 160 megawatts of energy.  This is the equivalent of powering 18,000 up to 72,000 homes per day.  Following the piloting of targeted initiatives this year, ESB Networks plans to scale up ‘Beat The Peak’ in 2023.   
On a pilot basis, for the first-time households across Ireland are being encouraged through an awareness campaign (Is this a Good Time?) to sign up to Beat the Peak.  Participating customers will receive customised information on an ongoing basis on how to shift their individual energy consumption away from the evening peak.  Participating households will also receive requests to adjust their individual consumption during peak demand events, on days where there is a higher risk of an “Amber Alert” (issued by EirGrid when generation available to meet demand is tight).  It is envisaged that between 15,000 to 30,000 households will sign up to Beat the Peak this coming winter with an ambition to significantly expand the number of participating households from 2023 onwards.  
Initiatives with commercial energy users and voltage reduction measures will be announced in due course. 
Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said: “The current energy crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine means that we are all focusing on how we can be more efficient in our energy use, particularly at the evening peak time. Participants in this pilot will be asked to shift their use of appliances to times of lower demand when they can. These initiatives complement the Government Reduce Your Use campaign, a new phase of which launched last week. It is vitally important that everyone stays warm and well this winter. Being energy efficient does not mean turning things off, going cold or doing without things that you need in your home or business. It’s just about making a few changes, like beating the peak, to make the greatest difference to our bills.” 
Commenting on the launch, Nicholas Tarrant, Managing Director of ESB Networks, said:  This pilot showcases how ESB Networks is committed empowering our customers with the right information to be part of the solution. In working with our customers, we can help beat the peak this winter and move closer to enabling a low carbon electricity network’. 
Head of National Networks, Local Connects Programme, Dr Ellen Diskin, said: “Beat The Peak sets out to empower electricity users with information on how and when they use electricity matters. This initiative helps customers take control of their consumption during peak times, and reduce demand on the system.  It is amongst the measures being piloted this year in advance of scaling in the coming years.”  
Domestic customers can learn more about how they can take control of their electricity and move consumption out of peak by signing up at : 
• As Ireland transforms how we generate electricity from carbon intensive fossil fuels to clean renewable sources like wind we need to ensure that our homes, farms, and business retain a secure supply. Ireland has a plan to grow the contribution of wind and other renewable sources.  But wind can be variable and any faults in generation plant may mean we face a heightened risk that the supply of power can keep pace with demand this winter. This risk is greatest the peak times of 5-7pm. 
• An Amber Alert is a warning signal issued by EirGrid that electricity supply is lower than it should be.  
• This winter’s ‘Beat the Peak’ initiatives are a pilot and are designed to test the impact and success of measures proposed in advance of being scaled over coming winters. To facilitate this research participants in the pilot will have differing experiences as we test personalisation, channels, calls to action and rewards. This will result in participants receiving different communications at times and will result in some participants not receiving all aspects of the pilot (including rewards) in order to inform insights. 
About ESB Networks
• At ESB Networks, we’re delivering an electricity network to empower our 2.4 million customers every day with choices and flexibility around how they consume, generate, trade and store electricity.   
• By investing in our technical capability and collaborating with our partners, we’re delivering a safe and resilient electricity network of the future. And crucially, we’re paving the way for Ireland’s clean electric future through the electrification of heat and transport, as well as connecting renewables at scale to the electricity network.  
• We’re delivering the electricity network of the future, designed to serve all electricity customers and to ensure a net zero society in Ireland.