To avoid blackouts, a government contingency program could require citizens to turn off their electricity.
The Telegraph reports that the UK government has prepared emergency energy plans, under which residents could be asked turn off their lights or lower their thermostats in an effort to avoid winter blackouts.
According to Saturday’s newspaper, these plans will be implemented in the event of an electricity or gas shortage. The public would then be asked to reduce their energy use. The Telegraph has seen documents that show the British government will send messages to people telling them to reduce their gas and electricity usage at regular times via television and radio.
In recent days, UK National Grid reportedly met representatives of energy-intensive industry to discuss how they can avoid rolling blackouts or total shutdowns.
Arjan Geveke (Director of Energy Intensive Users Group), however, stated that the National Grid would pay the industry for its shut-down only after there was a reduction in demand.
“First of all they will want to do a public information campaign because that’s the least costly option,”The Telegraph quotes him saying the following: “There’s obviously an increased risk of security of supply in the winter.”
Meanwhile, the UK energy sand cost of living crisis continues to intensify, with annual household bills expected to surpass £3,300 ($3,971) this winter according to energy consultant Cornwall Insight.
National Grid asked electric suppliers for ways to make it possible to pay household energy users to reduce their use during peak times, like strong winds. British Gas, Shell and others told the outlet that they will not adhere to this plan.
The EU has plans for addressing its energy crisis as energy prices rise amid anti-Russian sanctions on the Ukraine conflict. According to the European Commission, all EU member countries should reduce natural gas consumption by 15% between September and March 2013. According to the Commission, there are concerns about the availability of natural gas for winter if Russia cuts supplies completely.
Many countries oppose the EU emergency measures, as EU energy ministers are set to vote later in the week. France, Austria, Germany and Germany already requested their citizens to use less energy by turning off lights and taking shorter showers.