A domestic gas ring on an oven in Durham, Britain, September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Lee Smith/File Photo
British households should reduce their gas and electricity use where possible this winter to help cut costs and reduce the risk of power cuts, energy regulator Ofgem said on Thursday.
The advice comes after the country’s National Grid last week warned that Britain could face forced power cuts if it is unable to import enough electricity and gas this winter.
“All of us should be thinking about how to reduce our energy use where possible,” Ofgem’s Chief Executive Jonathan Brearley said at an industry event on Thursday.
“This is not only the most direct way of reducing our bills. It directly helps with security of supply, contributes to decarbonisation, and saves money for the public finances,” he said.
Brearley said Ofgem was working with the energy sector and would shortly be launching a campaign to explain the support available, how to reduce energy consumption and what customers should expect from their providers.
Britain’s government has so far steered clear of calling on people to reduce energy use, unlike in Europe where countries have agreed to voluntarily reduce gas use by 15% and officials have urged businesses to cut energy use and public buildings to turn down heating to avoid power shortages.
Brearley said that while Britain is in a strong position regarding energy supplies, he does not think there will be a supply emergency this winter, though it will be a difficult period due to the crisis in Ukraine and cuts in gas supply from Russia to Europe.
“We cannot at any time, particularly this winter, eliminate all risk,” he said.
Britain’s climate minister Graham Stuart said at the same event the country was unlikely to face power cuts this winter.
“Our system should cope. Its very unlikely that we will see the conditions that would lead to blackouts,” he said at the EnergyUK conference.