Brits warned they could lose power for three hours at a time this winter
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National Grid has warned British households declining gas supplies could result in up to three hour power cuts at a time this winter.
On 5 September, Prime Minister Liz Truss announced energy bills will be capped ahead of what is expected to be a long and difficult winter amid a cost of living crisis.
Alas, despite the Conservative leaders efforts, if gas supplies continue to decline - even if Brits are able to pay for their energy bills - National Grid has warned that Brits could face several hours without any access to power at all.
In its latest Winter Outlook Report, released today (6 October), the National Grid - 'one of the world's largest publicly listed utilities focused on transmission and distribution of electricity and gas' - has revealed its three different predictions for the UK during the period of 31 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Gas is used heavily by the UK to produce electricity. "On average, energy that is provided by UK suppliers mostly comes from gas (around 41 percent)," according to Nexus energy solutions.
While the UK does have its own resources, it mostly relies on other countries to import gas, ranging from places such as Norway and Russia.
In March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the UK announced a ban on Russian oil and oil products by the end of the year which has led not only to hiked prices, but also a shortage of supplies, and resultantly 'unprecedented turmoil and volatility' as we head into winter, according to the National Grid.
Overall, there are three potential scenarios which could occur this winter.
The first prediction sees households required to reduce their electricity use at certain times - a scheme set to launch on 1 November if so - because of the country having been forced to rely on coal-fired power generators which are being kept on standby by National Grid, EDF and Uniper.
This would occur if electricity was only able to be sourced from Norway, and not the Netherlands, Belgium or France too.
The second prediction would see up to three hour cuts per day.
While 'unlikely' to occur, National Grid ESO explained 'it would mean that some customers could be without power for pre-defined periods during a day - generally this is assumed to be for three-hour blocks'.
The blocks to power would likely take place in the morning or early evening between 4:00-7:00pm.
How bad the shortage is affects how many gas-power stations are shut down which in turn impacts just how many households will experience the power cut. However, not all houses in the country would be affected at the same time as there would be a rotation. Also, the cut wouldn't impact places like hospitals.
The main - and final - prediction by National Grid ESO is that this winter will be no different to any other in Britain and households will have the same amount as energy as they have done in previous years.
"Our central view remains, as set out in the Base Case, that there will be adequate margins (3.7GW / 6.3 percent) through the winter to ensure Great Britain remains within the reliability standard," the report states.
A separate report detailed another scenario, which is British households could be required to pay even more for their energy in order to continue using power without facing up to three hour cuts at a time.
All in all, the National Grid forecasts 'a challenging winter'.
If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can find more information about where to get help from Turn2Us via their website.