• Tue. May 21st, 2024

UK is not asking people to use less energy, – climate minister

Britain is not asking people to use less energy, climate minister Graham Stuart said on Friday, despite a warning from the National Grid that homes and businesses could face three-hour planned blackouts this winter.

The approach taken by Britain is at odds with the European Union where countries have agreed to voluntarily reduce gas use by 15% and where officials have urged businesses to cut energy use and public buildings to turn down heating.

“We’re not in the business of telling people how to live their lives,” Stuart said on Times Radio, arguing that any public information campaign would not reduce the risk to UK’s energy supply.

The National Grid’s warning on possible power cuts was based on a worst case scenario: if Britain is unable to import electricity from Europe and struggles to attract enough gas imports.

“If there were such a scenario, it would come at a very sharp point, so the fact that somebody had reduced their energy usage a week before or even a day before you get to a peak wouldn’t really make any difference to the security of supply,” Stuart told Sky News. “In all the central scenarios, we are going to be fine.”

Under new PM Liz Truss, Britain has been taking steps to bolster its energy security, lifting a ban on fracking for shale gas in England last month, and launching a new oil and gas exploration licensing round on Friday.