UK not asking people to use less energy, minister says By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sheep graze under a row of electricity pylons near the port of Ellesmere, Britain October 11, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

By Muvija M

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is not asking people to use less energy, Climate Minister Graham Stuart said on Friday, despite a warning from the national grid (LON:) that homes and businesses could face planned three-hour outages this winter.

“We’re not here to tell people how to live their lives,” Stuart told Times Radio, saying no public information campaign would reduce the risk to Britain’s energy supply.

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

“If there was such a scenario, it would come to a very acute point, so the fact that someone reduced their energy consumption a week before or even a day before reaching a peak would not really make a difference for security of supply,” Stuart told Sky News.

“In all central scenarios, everything will be fine.”

Under new Prime Minister Liz Truss, Britain has taken steps to bolster its energy security, with a fracking ban for shale gas in England lifted last month and a new round of oil exploration licenses and gas launched on Friday.

Truss said boosting the country’s energy supply is a “top priority”.

The government, which has stepped in with an energy support scheme to help people with high bills, said on Thursday it was working with energy providers and regulator Ofgem on a voluntary service to reward users who reduce demand to rush hours.

Countries across Europe scrambled to bolster supplies ahead of winter as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow in response drove up oil and gas prices. gas.

The German regulator, whose main gas supplier is Russia, has sounded the alarm of a “winter crisis” unless significant reductions in use are made.

But when Stuart was asked if people should use less energy, he replied: “We don’t send that as a message.”

“The last thing you want to do is tell someone to turn things off for the national need when it makes no difference to the national (energy) security position,” he said.

He added that he did not expect the power cuts to happen.

He dismissed media reports that Truss had blocked a planned public information campaign on energy conservation. The Times reported that she would be “ideologically opposed” to the campaign due to fears that it was too interventionist.

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