Liz Truss rules out energy-saving campaign amid power blackout warning | Politics News

Liz Truss ruled out launching an energy-saving public information campaign amid warnings of possible 3-hour power cuts in some areas.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg is believed to have backed a £15million campaign this winter, with The Times reporting that the idea was blocked by Number 10.

It said the campaign is considered “light touch” and includes measures designed to save people up to £300 a year, including reducing boiler temperatures, turning off radiators in empty rooms and advise people to turn off the heating when they are. go out.

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The newspaper quoted a government source who described the campaign as “no brainer” and said Number 10 had made a “stupid decision”, but it added Ms Truss is said to be “ideologically opposed” to such an approach because it can be too interventionist.

When asked to comment on the report, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy issued a statement on behalf of the government, which asserted the ministers did not launch the campaign and that “any statement otherwise is not true”.

Ms. Truss had previously sought to allay concerns, though explicitly stopped short of providing assurances that there would be no blackouts.

The National Grid System Operator (ESO) warns households and businesses could face a planned three-hour outage to ensure that the power grid does not collapse in the “unlikely” event of a shortfall in gas supply relative to demand.

A government spokesman said: “The UK has a secure and diverse energy system.

“We plan to protect households and businesses in all scenarios this winter, against Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

“To strengthen this position further, we have put in place plans to secure supplies and National Grid, working alongside energy suppliers and Ofgem, will launch a voluntary service to reward users who reduce demand at peak times.

“We will continue to work internationally to address rising energy prices and ensure supply security, but there are no current plans to follow the EU decision.

“However, the ministers did not launch a public information campaign and any other claims are untrue.”

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Risk of emergency gas shortage

Concern about planned power outages is reminiscent of the 1970s response to miners’ strikes and the oil crisis.

Three-day week was introduced on January 1, 1974, with commercial electricity users limited to consumption three consecutive days per week, pubs and restaurants closed on quiet days and TV companies ban broadcasting after 10:30 p.m.

Essential services such as hospitals, supermarkets and newspaper printers are exempt.

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Public Information Films of the 1970s, Courtesy: National Archives

The lights will stay on this winter unless the gas-fired power plants that produced 43% of Britain’s electricity last year can’t get enough gas to keep running.

The margin between peak demand and power supply is expected to be sufficient and similar to recent years in the National Grid ESO baseline scenario for this winter.

But facing a “challenging” winter for Europe’s energy supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the grid operator is planning for what could happen without power. imported from Europe.

There are two gigawatts of coal-fired power plants on standby if needed to meet demand following the loss of imports from France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Ms Truss, trying to ensure there would be no blackouts, told reporters during a visit to the Czech Republic: “What we’re clear about is that we have a good energy supply in the UK, we’re in a bad situation. situation is much better than in many other countries, but of course we can always do more, and that’s why I’m here working with our partners, making sure that we have a secure energy supply for the future.”

Ms Truss added: “We have a good energy supply in the UK, we can get through the winter, but of course I’m always looking for ways we can improve prices for consumers.

“That’s why we give energy price guarantees as well as make sure we have as much supply as possible.”


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