Millions of households across the UK could be asked to turn down their thermostats and switch off lights to avoid blackouts this winter.
The government has drawn up several emergency measures to tackle the energy crisis, which include appeals to the public to use less energy in the event of an electricity or gas supply shortage, The Telegraph reports.
The National Grid has already held meetings with senior staff from energy industries to try and avoid blackouts or supply shutdowns amid concerns over possible future shortages.
Several European countries such as Germany, Austria and France have already appealed for their citizens to cut down on energy usage by switching lights off, turning down thermostats and taking shorter showers.
EU countries were told to cut their usage by 15% from August over concerns they will not be able to store enough for winter after Russia reduced its supply of gas on the Nordstream pipeline.
The UK document said that if the government had to introduce energy-saving measures, they would appear via TV, radio, social media and posters.
Will energy bills go up this winter?
Household energy bills are expected to rocket this winter to around £3,300 on average as the energy crisis deepens.
Experts from Cornwall Insight, one of the country’s premier energy consultancies, said bills could rise from £1,971 to £3,245 in October and then again to £3,364 in early 2023.
The Ofgem price cap is currently set at £1,971 and covers 22 million households. The cap sets a limit on how high variable-rate energy bills can be for average use households paying by direct debit.
Sir John Armitt, chairman of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission, said people should be asked to try and cut back on their energy use by turning thermostats down and avoiding the use of appliances like cookers and washing machines between the peak times of 6pm and 8pm.
He told The Telegraph: “People will have to shift their cooking patterns. Do we need to heat our homes at 21C or is it more efficient to have a steady lower temperature?
“Absolutely the government could ask people to turn down their thermostats. I’d be amazed if the government didn’t do this at some point this winter.”
The National Grid could also pay some large energy users to use less power to ease pressure on the national grid.