UK homes have warned of possible power outages planned this winter

The operator of the national electricity grid has warned that homes and businesses could face a three-hour blackout to help ensure the grid does not collapse this winter

The National Grid said households were warned of possible power outages this winter after concerns that power plants would not be able to operate at full capacity.

The National Electricity Grid Operator (ESO) said that power plants in certain parts of the country may not be able to provide enough gas to operate at full capacity throughout the winter months, leading to three-hour blackouts in some areas of the country. country. The potential blackout planned would be the first since the 1970s, as a result of the miners’ strike and the oil crisis.

It comes amid a potential energy crisis fueled by the war in Ukraine and soaring wholesale prices for gas and oil.

What did the national network say about the power outage?

The National Grid has warned that if gas to Russia is cut off throughout the winter and the UK also experiences very cold weather all this time, the country’s electricity supply could dwindle. Unless gas-fired power plants find enough gas during the winter period, planned blackouts may occur. These power plants produce around 43% of the UK’s electricity.

A statement from the National Grid said: “In the unlikely event that we were in this situation, this means that some customers may be without power for predetermined periods within a day – generally this is assumed to be three hours.”

The National Network said it was “cautiously confident” that this would not be the case. In a “base case” scenario – without these externalities – the group said it expects “sufficient operating surplus throughout the winter”.

Customers are urged to “save money and support Britain” by using more energy at peak times. The UK’s peak time for energy consumption is 4pm to 7pm, with some power suppliers offering plans that give money back to customers who switch their energy use away from this time period.

ESO recommended that families take advantage of this offer to relieve pressure on the network at peak times. It can also save families around £100 if they sign up for this type of scheme.

Where can a power outage be affected?

If a controlled blackout is introduced, the national grid will notify local and regional power distributors in advance. So far, there is no information about which parts of the country are at risk of blackouts.

The decision will be up to these distribution network operators, who will decide which areas will be cut and which areas will not be affected. In either case, people in affected areas will be notified in advance of the decision, and notified when the electricity is unusable.

What was the reaction to a possible power outage?

Undoubtedly, the situation caused concern among the general public. Politicians have also criticized the government’s handling of the energy crisis so far.

Labor shadow climate minister and former leader Ed Miliband said: “Today’s report from the National Grid shows our vulnerability as a country as a direct result of a decade of failed conservative energy policy.

“Banning onshore winds, reducing investment in energy efficiency, nuclear stalling and shutting down gas storage have resulted in higher bills and dependence on gas imports, leaving us more vulnerable to the impact of Putin’s use of energy as a geopolitical weapon. Yet conservatives are still failing to learn lessons.”

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey also urged Prime Minister Liz Truss to convene an urgent COBRA meeting to address the situation. He said: “We need stronger leadership from the new prime minister. Political differences in her divided Conservative party must stop impeding Britain’s rule.

“Failure to take action now could result in millions falling into ongoing blackouts, while gasoline and heating oil prices are further out of control. We need real action from this government, including a clear plan to boost energy supplies and secure resources necessary energy.