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Brits told to expect blackouts from 4pm to 7pm on cold weekday evenings

Brits told to expect blackouts from 4pm to 7pm on cold weekday evenings

National Grid chief executive John Pettigrew has warned that the coldest and darkest times of the year could see blackouts in the UK

The chief executive of the National Grid has warned that British households could be facing blackouts during the depths of winter due to energy shortages.

The good news just keeps on coming and coming, doesn’t it?

With the energy prices as high as they currently are, you’d at least expect that if you wanted to put the heating on or use and electrical appliance, you’d be able to, right?

As the cost of – well – everything continues to soar, we’re also being warned that we could be looking at having to spend some of the coldest afternoons in the year sitting around wrapped in hundreds of layers without so much as a TV to help us.

That’s because there could be energy shortages during the winter if the supply of gas and electricity doesn’t hold, meaning that there might be the need for rolling blackouts.

Scenes like this could be the norm.
Claire Doherty/Alamy Stock Photo

This all comes from National Grid chief executive John Pettigrew, who spoke at an energy event hosted by the Financial Times with some fairly bleak tidings.

Basically, Pettigrew said that if the National Grid can’t secure enough gas from mainland Europe to meet the demand of the British public, we could see rolling blackouts on ‘those darkest evenings in January and February’.

Obviously, that’s made more likely if there’s a cold spell, as demand for electricity and gas will be higher.

So, between 4:00pm and 7:00pm on ‘really really cold’ weekdays during the worst part of the year, we could be forced to sit in the dark and cold twiddling our thumbs whilst we wait for the power to come back on.

Brilliant, isn’t it?

Of course, Pettigrew said that this eventuality is ‘unlikely’ while remaining possible.

With much of Europe feeling the pressure of Russia’s squeeze on natural gas because of their war with Ukraine, it might mean that there simply isn’t enough for the UK to buy from Europe during the coldest months.

While Britain isn’t directly reliant on Russian gas, during the winter it is common to buy gas and electricity from European nations who are reliant, so indirectly, that’s how it’ll be for us.


Russia shut off the Nordstream 1 pipeline back in August, leaving energy analysts very concerned for the winter.

In the ‘base case’ set out by the National Grid, Pettigrew comforted by saying that there should be enough to go around, but added: “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.”

In the worst case scenario, power to certain areas would be cut off ‘probably between 4pm and 7pm in the evenings on those weekdays when it’s really, really cold in January and February’.

He went on to say that a ‘huge amount of work’ is being done to ensure that the most vulnerable households will be provided with support in the event of blackouts becoming necessary.

They’re also going to be launching an incentivisation scheme to get households to curb their energy usage during periods of low supply, as well as asking people to generally reduce their consumption.

Going to be really difficult to do that if it’s super cold and dark though, isn’t it?

It remains to be seen how bad things will actually get.

LADbible has contacted the National Grid Group for a comment.

Featured Image Credit: Ian Allenden/Alamy Stock Photo/Keith Morris/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News