Households across the UK could face three-hour power outages this winter, the National Grid has warned.
A gas shortage, which generated 40% of UK electricity last year, could lead to three-hour blackouts to save heating supplies for homes and buildings.
This means that households could be paid to use their washing machines or charge electric cars during off-peak periods.
While the current margins between supply and demand should be sufficient in the coming months, the ESO (National Grid Electricity System Operator) is also preparing in the event of power cuts from Europe, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the impact on UK energy supplies.
So how do you keep your home lit in the event of a power outage? Here’s everything you need to know.
Having at least one easily accessible flashlight that is either fully charged or contains full batteries is always a good idea. It’s worth keeping a stock of batteries in your cupboard, to make sure you’re not caught off guard in an emergency. Depending on the size of your home, it’s worth having torches in every room or at least upstairs and downstairs.
As a last resort, remember that most smartphones also have a torch function. In the event of a power outage, remember that you will only be able to use it as long as your phone is charged.
Battery-powered lights can generate a surprising amount of light, making them an ideal option if you’re trying to work or bathe the kids. Again, make sure you have enough batteries in case they run out.
Although oil lamps may look like something from the First World War, they last longer than candles and have evolved considerably over the past 100 years. Many oil lamps now use vegetable oil, which is non-explosive, non-toxic and odorless, making it an environmentally friendly and safe choice.
Candles are always a good option to light up a dark night. Whether large candles or tealights, the open flame provides the necessary light in a dark place. Make sure you have a good supply of matches or lighters to light them up.
Beeswax, coconut wax, canola wax and soy wax are more sustainable options than paraffin or other synthetic “unspecified blends”, and are better for the environment. Just be sure to exercise caution when lighting candles at home, especially if you have children or pets.
It’s the perfect time to dig up that old crank lamp you bought for a camping trip in 2014. Although it’s associated with a more rustic life, a crank lamp can provide hours of light for just a few seconds of elbow grease. Shop around for the best and most reliable model.
A headlamp can be a godsend for busy people who need a hands-free option. Simply secure the torch around your head with an elastic band to bring light to the places you need. Although Petzl is the market leader, there are plenty of options available, from Amazon to Argos and beyond.