Britain facing planned blackouts in event of 'worst-case scenario' gas shortages and freezing temperatures

Four days in January could see organised power cuts if reduced imports from Norway and France meet ice cold conditions

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The Government is reportedly planning to organise blackouts this winter, in the event of worst-case scenario gas shortages and freezing temperatures.

Households as well as businesses could be impacted under the Government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario”, where the UK suffers a serious electricity shortfall in the height of winter.

The window in which this plan would be initiated would be over four days in January 2023, in the event of reduced imports of electricity from Norway and France amid very cold conditions.

If the chill bites Britain this winter, it may have to import gas from Europe.

Given the limited gas resources in Europe due to the Russian war with Ukraine, Britain’s domestic storage capacity is minimal.

Liz Truss has refused to commit to additional support for families, despite the expected hike in energy prices.
Liz Truss has refused to commit to additional support for families, despite the expected hike in energy prices.
Rishi Sunak said that there was 'no doubt' extra support would be required during the winter months.
Rishi Sunak said that there was 'no doubt' extra support would be required during the winter months.

The prospect of blackouts, as reported by Bloomberg UK, comes amid a backdrop of spiralling fuel bills, due to worsen as the energy price cap increases in October.

Liz Truss has refused to commit to extra support for families struggling with the cost-of-living after analysts delivered a shock warning that energy bills could top £4,200 in the new year.

The two remaining contenders in the Tory leadership race faced renewed calls to spell out how they would help after Cornwall Insight forecast average bills could hit about £3,582 in October, from £1,971 today, before rising further in January.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he has “no doubt” extra support will be needed to get people through the winter, and he is “confident” he can find the money needed to ease the burden from Government efficiency savings.

Ben Wallace said it is “fraudulent” to suggest there is a “magic wand coming out of Whitehall” to fix the cost-of-living crisis – regardless of who is prime minister.

Presented with projections that energy bills could rise to the region of £4,000, he told reporters in Huddersfield: “There’s not a single person who is offering a solution to those significant rises, not the Labour Party, not Rishi Sunak, not anyone else.

“That scale is not entirely going to be solved by the Government. I think that’s what people need to understand. That’s the honest truth. We are all feeling it in our pocket.

“And the idea there is a magic wand coming out of Whitehall, no matter who is Prime Minister, including the Labour Party, is fraudulent to say so."