Households are to receive discounts on their energy bills for cutting back on electricity.
Three UK coal plants have been ordered to begin warming up in case they are needed for the country's energy supply. National Grid ESO said it gave the instructions in light of forecasts showing electricity supply margins may be tighter than normal.
It added it was also activating a live "demand flexibility service" - which allows the ESO to access additional flexibility when national demand is at its highest during peak winter days - between 5-6pm on Monday.
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The scheme would mean some households with smart meters would receive discounts if they cut their use of electricity. It is due to stay in place until March, with 26 energy suppliers including Octopus Energy and EDF signed up to it, but until now has only been used in tests.
The cold weather means more people are heating their homes which increases the demand for energy, but a lack of wind has reduced the amount of renewable energy available.
National Grid ESO added that its announcement should not be interpreted as a sign that electricity supplies are at risk and said "people should not be worried".
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