The UK’s National Grid has warned that millions of homes and businesses could be without power this winter due to energy shortages, the Telegraph reports. This could result in three-hour blackouts across major cities and towns throughout the country, potentially leaving millions of people without heating or hot water for periods of time during the cold winter months.
As a result, now’s the time to take steps to ensure your business is as prepared as possible in case of blackouts this winter. Here are some tips to get you started…
What will happen?
The emergency plan would alert consumers a day in advance that their power would be shut off for three hours, helping to reduce overall consumption by 5%.
By using more energy during off-peak hours, households can help avoid blackouts, save money and help Britain. Early this year, Octopus Energy experimented with paying consumers for power used outside busy periods. As long as enough companies and households participate in this service, National Grid hopes to release 2GW of power, enough to power 600,000 homes.
You can contribute to reduced energy usage during peak times by charging an EV at off-peak times or running the dishwasher or washing machine overnight.
Best tips to prepare for blackouts
According to a report by the agency that oversees the UK’s electricity grid, a full power cut from energy from the country’s power grid is one of the worst events that could happen in the near future. Nothing like this has happened since the 70’s.
Right now, you should prepare
- Look for your fuse box
- Fuse boxes are usually inside closets, under staircases, in attached garages or in utility rooms. Make yourself familiar with the switches
- Store number 105 in your mobile phone as ‘Power cut’
- Pack an emergency kit in a backpack that includes the following items:
- A battery-operated torch
- Spare batteries
- Battery powered radio
- Tinned and dried food
- Can opener
- Spoons and forks
- Warm blankets
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone spare battery pack (charged)
Put the bag where you and your loved ones will have the most access to it!
What to do in blackouts?
In the event of a power outage here are a few important steps to take…
The first thing you should do is check your fuse box to see if any fuses have tripped.
If any switches are off, turn them back on.
Next, instead of coming inside, check the rest of your neighbourhood to see if any other houses also have their lights off. If this applies to you alone, call 105 – it’s a toll-free number which puts you in touch with the company that operates cables, wires, and substations and restores power. Ask them what caused the outage and when you will be receiving power back.
Finally, look for your pre-packed emergency kit.
This power outage could potentially be harmful in many ways, as it will also disable your heating, so make sure you are wrapped up, your electric kettle is off, and cooking pots have nothing in. If you have a gas cook top, it may be functional, but remember that turning the flame on is just a task away with a simple match. Get a torch from your emergency kit and walk through your home to identify anything that is working and not.
Our Tip: If the power is out for more than 24 hours, you may be able to receive some money from the company that provides your electricity.
Will blackouts definitely happen?
Energy regulator Ofgem says: “We have one of the most reliable energy systems in the world, but as it stands now it may not be up to snuff. It is incumbent upon us to come up with better emergency response strategies to be as proactive as possible”.