This is a question on many people’s minds as we approach the colder months with an energy crisis. With the national grid under strain and gas supplies running low, power stations on standby and energy use at an all-time high, it’s no wonder people are worried.
January and February are typically the months when we see the most winter power cuts, as demand for energy is at its peak. However, with proper planning and preparation, blackouts can be avoided. The key is to use energy wisely and conserve it where possible.
While blackouts are possible this winter, some steps can be taken to minimise their impact on households and businesses in the event of a power cut.
Why could winter blackouts happen?
We could face potential power cuts due to the energy crisis. Winter blackouts could happen because there is not enough power to meet the demand. The amount of electricity that power plants generate can’t keep up with the amount of electricity that households and businesses use.
Power generators can’t make enough power to meet the demand, so they have to shut down. This can take days or even weeks to fix. If the outage is widespread, the government would declare a state of emergency.
What is meant by rolling blackouts?
Rolling blackouts are planned power outages where electricity is shut off for a rotating group of customers. This is done as a last resort to prevent widespread power outages when there is insufficient power to meet demand.
Rolling blackouts can last several hours or even days and can be disruptive. The national grid warned they may put these types of contingency plans in place during the winter to prevent widespread power outages.
How do rolling blackouts work?
Rolling blackouts are usually caused by a large amount of energy demand on the grid, which can happen in extreme weather conditions or when there is a shortage of generation capacity. When this happens, electricity suppliers will rotate power cuts between different areas to balance supply and demand. Thankfully rolling power cuts in the UK are unlikely.
Planned three-hour blackouts
What the UK government has warned is that the UK could face three-hour planned power cuts. These blackouts would be spread across the country, where services would be turned off during off-peak times for three hours at a time. It’s been warned these blackouts will be between 4pm-7pm on the coldest winter weekdays.
There’s still hope this is unlikely, but for businesses and homes who cannot risk this downtime, it’s worth considering investing in a backup generator that can provide power for your home or business.
These generators will kick in once the main power supply has been lost and provide enough electricity to keep your essentials running until the electricity supply is restored. If you’re considering this option, make sure you talk to one of our experts, who will advise you on the best solution for your needs.
How do I prepare for a power outage in the winter in the UK?
To prepare for a power outage, you should:
– Charge your mobile phone and other devices in advance
– Have a torch ready with fresh batteries
– Keep a stock of food and water that does not require refrigeration
– Fill up your freezer with ice or ice blocks in case you need to keep food cold
– Wear warm clothing and have extra blankets available
– If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure you have enough fuel to keep it going
– Get a backup battery or generator for your home
Preparing for a blackout can help you stay safe and comfortable until the power comes back.
Should I get a generator to prepare for winter?
A generator can be a great way to prepare for winter. It can help keep your home warm and your family safe or your business running. It can also be used to power essential appliances like your fridge, lights, or office equipment.
There are a few things to consider before purchasing a generator. First, you’ll need to decide what type of generator you need. Portable generators are less expensive and can be used for small tasks like powering a few lights or charging your phone. Standby generators are more expensive, but they’re permanently installed and can power your entire home in the event of a power outage.
You’ll also need to think about how much power you need. The size of the generator is measured in watts, and you’ll need to determine what appliances you want to be able to run at the same time. A typical home needs at least 4,000 watts to run essentials like the fridge and lights.
Finally, you’ll need to decide how you will fuel the generator. Diesel and petrol are the most common options, but it can be difficult to safely store large quantities of fuel. There are also natural gas generators available, but they require special installation.
Should I get a portable generator for winter?
A portable generator is a type of generator that can be moved from one place to another. If you’re looking for a temporary solution to keep essentials like fridges and freezers running or office computers and lighting during an unexpected (or even planned) blackout, a portable generator could be just the thing.
A portable power station is another option, these battery-powered generators don’t rely on fuel, but you’ll need to keep it charged and ready for an emergency situation. Whatever generator you choose, you need to ensure it produces enough energy to cover your power needs.
Do I need a standby generator?
A standby generator is a fixed generator, usually diesel, that is permanently installed and provides power for your entire home or business.
They are particularly useful because standby generators work automatically and can restore power within 15-30 seconds.
They also have internal fuel tanks that can store enough fuel to provide up to 12 hours of power in an emergency, and this can be extended with external fuel storage tanks.
If you’re concerned about losing power this winter, talk to our team at Solent Power. We’ll be happy to help you find the best solution.