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Blackout Preparation?

(91 Posts)
Daisymae Mon 27-Jun-22 07:27:55

Sounds like a plan, entice the poor to cut back at peak times so the wealthy can keep the lights on? Blackouts are apparently a worse case scenario this winter. www.thetimes.co.uk/article/5fcf6eda-f58f-11ec-ad14-7b04276f4c1f?shareToken=8ba790a9faf5bf29b85c3f04721b3da

M0nica Mon 27-Jun-22 07:35:37

Why should we see this plan as so negative? What makes you think that the 'wealthy' (whatever that means) wouldn't sign up for a scheme like this?

Something similar happens, or used to happen in France, we were signed up for it at one point.

Casdon Mon 27-Jun-22 07:40:47

It’s certainly a negative that there’s a risk of blackouts, because that would put vulnerable people at risk form lack of heating and light.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 27-Jun-22 07:50:19

I already put the dishwasher and washing machine on in the evenings, but won’t that just shift the ‘peak times’ if everyone does it?

Let’s hope that businesses will also be encouraged to save power. So many office blocks with lighting on all night and computers left on.

DiamondLily Mon 27-Jun-22 07:55:30

When we had the blackouts in the 70's, they just announced, in advance, what areas would have a 3 hour blackout the following day, and at what time.

We just did the essential stuff beforehand, got our candles and torches ready and sat it out.

I don't know how well people will cope today - many will have a meltdown if the Wi-Fi goes off. 😉

Casdon Mon 27-Jun-22 08:02:51

The biggest issue is that far more people live in homes with no alternative to electricity now, whereas as the seventies there were more coal fires and gas fires.

Iam64 Mon 27-Jun-22 08:07:48

Diamond Lily- yes WiFi 😂🤣.

Joseanne Mon 27-Jun-22 08:12:01

The hardest bit is to cut back on heating in winter. Lighting, appliances, gadgets etc are all do-able to an extent, but to be cold is miserable and potentially harmful.
I agree with Monica, it's not necessarily a negative plan and we too signed up for it in France. The trade off was that we heated the pool to 26 degrees for free all summer. Supply and demand.

MaizieD Mon 27-Jun-22 08:17:40

Can't read the article. Can you give us an idea of what it says, OP?

Sago Mon 27-Jun-22 08:27:30

Why does the OP think it’s the poor who are being asked to cut back?
The scheme is to reward people with smart meters who use less electricity at peak times.

Dickens Mon 27-Jun-22 08:30:38

MaizieD

Can't read the article. Can you give us an idea of what it says, OP?

The only bit I could read is this...

Hard-up families will be paid to use less electricity and avoid blackouts
Millions of households could be paid to use less electricity at peak times this winter under plans from the National Grid to reduce the risk of blackouts. The company responsible for keeping the lights on is working urgently to establish a scheme to pay consumers with smart meters to ration their usage voluntarily when supplies are scarce.

... which you probably also read, I guess?

Might be feasible for those who're retired - we often have all day to get things done, but for working families, well it's pretty impractical for obvious reasons.

I'd like further information.

Keeper1 Mon 27-Jun-22 08:39:25

Why
Only people with smart meters?

Sparklefizz Mon 27-Jun-22 08:42:04

Casdon

The biggest issue is that far more people live in homes with no alternative to electricity now, whereas as the seventies there were more coal fires and gas fires.

We couldn't get the coal, Casdon

25Avalon Mon 27-Jun-22 08:53:49

With the cost of electricity we won’t have any choice but to cut back on it! Volunteering won’t enter into it! Poorer people are already having to choose between heating and eating. I won’t be doing away with my wood burning stove any time soon.

DaisyAnne Mon 27-Jun-22 08:57:16

Keeper1

Why
Only people with smart meters?

Would it be because that the only way you could tell when the electicity is being used?

Sago Mon 27-Jun-22 08:58:15

Keeper1 I guess it’s because the power companies can only verify usage times via a smart meter.

Keeper1 Mon 27-Jun-22 09:04:35

Thanks yes I can see now it would be the only way of verifying usage.

lixy Mon 27-Jun-22 09:13:05

I well remember doing homework by the light of the paraffin lamp, but I don't recall being cold though so I guess we must have wrapped up well.

Think I'd better investigate getting a smart meter installed as we don't have one here.
I think it's a good idea, going along the same lines as paying people with solar panels when they are contributing to the grid.

ayse Mon 27-Jun-22 09:13:07

The National Grid is well aware of peak usage times thus the ability to decide when to turn power on and off as happened in the 70s. Three day week etc.

Living in Turkey the power just went off for hours at a time as did the tap water with no warning. We just learned to live with it. Having said that it was generally in the summer. This coming winter sounds very bleak for many. Less food, little power and continually rising prices.

Thank goodness we have dual fuel so at least a saucepan can be boiled with hot water for drinks and hot water bottles. Looks like bed will be the safest place to keep warm.

DaisyAnne Mon 27-Jun-22 09:14:53

We are in a low-wage economy with a great deal of precarious employment. Many people who have not struggled previously will do so in the coming months; some are noticing it already.

The pricing system for fuel is grossly unjust. The increases in the standing charge mean that the more you use, the cheaper it gets. If you switch everything off, you still pay the standing charge and do not even receive a minimum amount of fuel for what you are paying.

The system requires root and branch changes, not tinkering at reducing costs for the wealthy or handouts of this country's money on the whim of a government, useful though they are now we are in the mess we are in.

ayse Mon 27-Jun-22 09:14:53

lixy

I well remember doing homework by the light of the paraffin lamp, but I don't recall being cold though so I guess we must have wrapped up well.

Think I'd better investigate getting a smart meter installed as we don't have one here.
I think it's a good idea, going along the same lines as paying people with solar panels when they are contributing to the grid.

We can’t have a smart meter. The external cabling across the estate is dated and cannot support the connections. I did try 3 years ago but it’s just not currently possible.

M0nica Mon 27-Jun-22 09:15:31

There has been a riskof blackouts for years. The main cause has been the introduction of off shore windfarms.

Winds off shore are tricksy and uncertain and a sudden big gust could blow the transmission wires that bring the power to land. Similarly a sudden drop in wind could shut a field down.

Some years ago a grid controller describing managing a steady power supply once lots of offshore windfarms came on stream as being like riding a bucking bronco.

Our local power station has a row of diesel generators, as do most of them, to use the get the grid running should it collapse.

I appreciate that the current problem is based on a complex situation involving rapidly rising fuel prices and the Russian invasion of UKraine leading to a restriction of suppliess.

But there is nothing exceptional about it. The british power system has been on a knife edge for years. You just did not know it.

Most big industrial complexes using gas usually have contracts that makes their supply interruptible, so if push came to shove, it probably be easier to turn big gas using industries off to a regular pattern.

I wouldn't be surprised if this announcement has been made to scare us in being more careful with fuel.

volver Mon 27-Jun-22 09:16:42

Well none of us who don't subscribe to the Times can't read the article because of the paywall, but I did find something like it in the Telegraph. (No, I don't subscribe to that either, but you can see a couple of articles a week.) Then I went to the Octopus site.

The scheme is to allow anybody - not just "poor families" to reduce their electricity usage and get that electricity for free in 2-hour slots when the grid is creaking - i.e. when demand is high. You don't have to do it, and you don't have to sign up forever. You don't even have to do it when you've signed up for it, its entirely up to you. It's got nothing to do with blackouts and you have to have a smart meter because that's how they know your electricity usage on an hourly basis.

No panic required. Unless I'm missing something?

volver Mon 27-Jun-22 09:27:21

M0nica and I have crossed swords several times about offshore wind and we'll never agree smile

But those thinking about the sudden big gust could blow the transmission wires that bring the power to land comment. The lines are sub sea. The wind can't get at them. Maybe M0nica would like to explain further.

There's a lot of misinformation out there.

foxie48 Mon 27-Jun-22 09:31:53

I am no expert but I understand that as we start generating more power from sustainable sources eg wind, sun etc we have less control over when that power is available. Wind turbines often get turned off when it is very windy as they are creating more power than we can use and we also have huge peaks and troughs of electricity usage. There are times when you can use electricity for free eg at 16.00 yesterday. We've always had a dual cost tariff for electricity, all our washing is done when electricity is half price, our bread maker goes on overnight and if we had an electric car we would charge it at night. I wouldn't dream of using the tumble drier during the day and if I do have to use it rather than line dry, it goes on during the night. I think anything that helps people to reduce their bills is helpful and if there are special discounts for people who are less well off, then I'd welcome that. I'm prepared to be open minded about what they are actually suggesting until I see the full facts.