British Gas owner Centrica (LON:CNA) says it may offer free power to customers on Saturdays, Financial Times reported Thursday. The energy firm plans to trial the initiative and could make it available to U.K. customers by mid-2014.
The move, seen as a reaction to political pressure to lower energy prices, aims to incentivize consumers to concentrate their energy use on Saturday, when demand is low, to reduce demand during the week.
Only customers using smart meters that measure energy use will be eligible for the offer. At least 1 million U.K. customers have them installed.
The concept is not new for Centrica, as parent company Direct Energy makes the same offer in the U.S. in the Northeast and Texas, calling it “Free Power Saturday.”
In Pennsylvania, Centrica offers free power on Sundays as an alternative for customers.
Under the proposed U.K. offer, customers would get 24 hours of free electricity every Saturday but would agree to switch most of their usage to the weekends.
"We need to get more smart meters in the U.K., and if it [free power days] does come to the U.K., it will be at least six months [from now]," Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, said in an interview.