Brits warned there could be blackouts from 4pm to 7pm on cold weekday evenings this winter
The National Grid says the chances of gas shortages this winter had risen to becoming a "significant risk".
The chief executive of National Grid is warning that blackouts could be imposed during “really cold” weekday evenings this winter.
The head of Britain’s electricity and gas systems’ operator, John Pettigrew, has told households nationwide to prepare for blackouts to potentially be imposed between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays during the “deepest darkest evenings” in January and February next year if electricity generators do not have enough gas to meet demand.
He said blackouts were even more likely to imposed if there is a period of cold weather.
Mr Pettigrew’s words of warning come as the rising cost of living crisis continues to make its impact felt nationwide.
It also comes after the National Grid last week put the country on notice, saying the chances of gas shortages this winter had risen to becoming a “significant risk”, and that planned three-hour power blackouts could become a reality for some areas where demand could not be met.
But this the first time since that warning that there has been explicit discussion of what time blackouts may take place, should there be a need for them to occur.
Mr Pettigrew’s comments came at the Financial Times Energy Transition Summit yesterday.
In the “base case” set out by the National Grid, Mr Pettigrew did offer the public some comfort by saying that there should be enough supply to go around and that planned blackouts would still be considered to be the worst case scenario.
“In the context of the terrible things that are going on in the Ukraine and the consequences of that, [it was] right that we set out what some of the potential risks could be,” he explained.
He also went on to say that a “huge amount of work” is being done by National Grid.
Work is being done to ensure that the most vulnerable households will be provided with support in the event of blackouts becoming necessary.
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National Grid says it’s also going to be launching an incentive-based scheme to get households to curb their energy usage during periods of low supply, as well as asking people to reduce their consumption in general in the run-up to winter.
The UK is one of many European countries facing gas shortages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russian gas imports.
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