MOSCOW, 7 Oct — PRIME. The UK government will not ask people to cut their energy consumption, Energy Undersecretary for Climate Change Graham Stewart said on Friday.
The day before, the operator of the unified British energy system National Grid presented an emergency plan, according to which systematic three-hour power outages are possible in the country in the event of a cold winter and a cessation of Russian gas supplies.
“We don’t send that kind of message (to the public),” Stewart told Sky News when asked if the British should start saving energy.
He added that “one of the most important, bold and effective steps” taken by British Prime Minister Liz Truss against the backdrop of the energy crisis was to freeze energy bills from October 1 for the next two years, so that the average annual gas and electricity bill does not exceed 2.5 thousand pounds sterling.
In addition, he said he “does not admit” that Truss has rejected plans to launch a broad information campaign on ways to save energy and urge the public to follow these measures.
There is an active policy-making process going on now, he said, and “the idea that there is a carefully crafted campaign” that is supported in government and rejected in Downing Street seems unlikely to him.
The Times reported on Friday that Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg approved plans to launch an information campaign, but the prime minister later opposed it. Truss “for ideological reasons does not support” such a measure amid unrest, it would be too serious an interference with the life of the British, sources told the publication.
Earlier, the Guardian newspaper reported that the British authorities may urge the public to start saving energy due to concerns about possible power outages this winter. According to the newspaper, British ministers discussed the launch of a campaign calling for a reduction in energy consumption. The calls, which are being discussed by the Energy Department, energy companies and the UK’s national grid operator National Grid, could include lowering home heating temperatures and using appliances at night, times when energy demand is lower.