OVO Energy's new Alexa voice command can tell you when it's a greener time to use energy at home

Better yet, it's voiced by Happy Valley's James Norton

Amazon echo on console
(Image credit: Amazon)

Energy supplier OVO has partnered with Happy Valley's James Norton for a new Alexa Skill designed to make it easier for people to use energy and run their home appliances when the grid is greener.

OVO's new skill dubbed 'Power Nap' uses real-time data from the National Grid so that anyone who owns an Alexa smart speaker – regardless of energy supplier – can be in the know of whether it's a good, okay, or bad time to switch on electrical appliances and devices by simply asking.

We don't know about you, but this smart home trend is definitely piquing our interest, especially if it offers us the opportunity to save energy at home and lower the cost of everyday household tasks. If there's any time to consider how voice assistants can make your life easier, it's now.

Amazon echo on console

(Image credit: Amazon)

OVO's new 'Power Nap' Alexa Skill

The skill was developed following new research commissioned by OVO, in which the findings highlighted a clear gap in understanding how to make greener energy decisions in the home. The research found that only 21% know that running appliances at off-peak times is a greener way to use energy.

Those who have participated in or heard about National Grid's money-off energy scheme will have heard a bit about being encouraged to try to use energy at off-peak hours in an attempt to avoid blackouts last year.

Well, this greener outlook on home energy is something that prevails regardless of season. However, making the greener energy choice is admittedly not always the easiest or most accessible choice – until the release of OVO's Power Nap skill.

smart speaker on a sideboard beside books and a vase and a picture of a dog

(Image credit: Amazon)

OVO's Power Nap Skill aims to bridge the gap, giving simple, easy-to-action tips and advice so people can use their electrical devices and appliances when there is more renewable energy available on the grid and understand the difference it makes – all through smart home voice control.

Not only can using energy at off-peak times lower your carbon footprint, but it can also reflect in your energy bills if you're signed up for a time-of-use tariff or schemes like OVO's Power Move, which rewards customers who take part in energy-saving challenges during specific times when the grid is greener.

That's right – you can expect savings in the cost of running a washing machine or running a tumble dryer on those dreaded wash days.

Better yet, it's voiced by James Norton to make things all more novel when making this transition in your own home to be more eco-conscious.

James Norton

(Image credit: OVO)

Commenting on being the voice of OVO's Alexa Skill, James Norton says, 'Everyone wants to do their bit for the planet, but it can sometimes feel a little daunting. It's important to remember that even small changes can be impactful. OVO's Power Nap skill makes it really easy to know when the grid is greener with simple, easy-to-action tips and advice.'

'If you need to do a load of laundry, you can easily check when it’s a greener time to turn on the washing machine. If we all make some small green changes in our day-to-day lives, together we can make a big difference.'

To access the skill, all you have to say is 'Alexa, open OVO Power Nap' to your Alexa smart device. It's early days, but we already suspect it's going to be one of the best Alexa voice commands available for many.

If we can do our bit as well as save some extra change in our pockets, you can count us in.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.