Britain’s climate minister on Friday ruled out a campaign urging the public to use less energy, despite a warning yesterday from the National Grid that in the worst-case scenario there could be blackouts.
Local media reported that Prime Minister Liz Truss blocked a £15 million ($16.6 million) public information campaign approved by Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg to encourage people to use less energy.
“We are not sending that out as a message,” Climate Minister Stuart told the BBC when asked whether the government will encourage people to use less energy.
“We’re not a nanny state government,” he told Sky News.
“The last thing you want to do is tell someone, you know, switch things off for the national need when it makes no difference to the national security position. In other countries it’s more about reducing overall energy use. For us, it’s not so much about that, it’s about reducing the demand at time of peak,” he added.
Speaking to radio station LBC, Stuart said: “The danger is if you had a sort of general use-less-energy message is that the wrong lessons will be taken on board by people.”
The UK could face three-hour power outages this winter in the worst-case scenario, the National Grid warned yesterday.
In an update on Britain’s energy readiness for winter, the National Grid’s Electricity System Operator said the chances of serious gas shortages were “unlikely” and that demand should be met.
It also encouraged the country to save energy as a way to help prevent blackouts.
The UK generates 40% of its power through gas, which has been impacted by the Russian war on Ukraine triggering a global surge in prices.
The British government has already announced a multi-billion energy bailout to help households and businesses with energy costs.