Britain may face power cuts this winter – are you prepared?

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Britain’s national grid is facing an unprecedented strain. According to Professor Ian Fell (who advises the World Energy Council), The grid’s spare energy capacity is falling dramatically due to the fact that new power sources aren’t being built. As a result, Professor Fell believes there is a chance that Britain could experience black-outs this winter. In fact, Professor Fell estimates that there is a 20% chance of black-outs occurring at some point this winter. It’s also worth noting that if current trends continue, the likelihood of black-outs may increase over the next few years. But what can you do to protect yourself from potential power-cuts?

The biggest problem during black-outs is likely to be keeping yourself warm. While black-outs may not affect gas-based heating systems or off-grid, self-sufficient systems, they would stop electric heating systems that rely on the national grid. The simplest solution to the problem is to install loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. While insulating your home won’t help you keep the lights on during a black-out, it will help your home stay warm until the power comes back on.

Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation can drastically slow the rate at which your home loses heat. During shorter black-outs, a well-insulated home won’t cool down significantly. Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation work best in conjunction. However, if you have to budget and can’t afford to invest in both, it’s still worth installing just one type of insulation. Either type will help your home retain its heat if the power goes out. There’s no reason you should have to put up with being cold just because the national grid is under strain!

Britain is facing a future where black-outs are increasingly likely. That may sound alarming, but there’s no need to worry. If black-outs do start to occur this winter or over the next few years, they won’t last indefinitely and the situation will be under control because the UK government and the major energy companies have known about the problem for years. However, black-outs would still be unpleasant; insulating your home will enable you to keep yourself warm during power-cuts. The best part is that even if black-outs don’t occur, you’ll still save money on your heating bills!


BBC News, ‘Power shortage risks by 2015, Ofgem warns’. Accessed 03/01/2016. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19842401

Mail Online, ‘Britain ‘could have winter power cut’’. Accessed 03/01/2016. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-192597/Britain-winter-power-cut.html