Households across the UK could face three-hour power cuts this winter, the National Grid has warned.

A shortage of gas, which generated 40 per cent of UK electricity last year, could result in three-hour blackouts to conserve supplies for heating homes and buildings.

This means 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 are expected to be sufficient over the coming months, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is also making plans in the event of cuts to electricity from Europe, further to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent impact on UK energy supplies.

So how can you keep your home light in the event of a blackout? Here’s everything you need to know.


Having at least one easily-accessible torch that is fully charged or contains full batteries, is always a good idea. It’s worth keeping a stockpile of batteries in your cupboard, to ensure you’re not caught out in the event of an emergency. Depending on the size of your home, it’s worth having torches in each room or at least upstairs and downstairs.

A head torch is a good hands-free option

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As a last resort, remember that most smartphones also have a torch feature. In the event of a power cut, remember that you’ll only be able to use this as long as your phone is charged, however.

Battery-powered lamps

Battery-powered lamps can generate a surprising amount of light, making them an ideal option if you’re trying to work or get the kids bathed. Again, make sure you have sufficient batteries in the event that they run out.

Oil lamps

While oil lamps might sound like something from the First World War, they last longer than candles and have evolved significantly in the past 100 years. Many oil lamps now use vegetable oil, which is non-explosive, non-toxic and odourless, making it an environmentally-friendly and safe choice.


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Candles are always a good option to shed some light on a dark night. Whether it’s tall candles or tea lights, the naked flame sheds necessary light in a dark place. Make sure you have a good supply or matches or lighters to set them burning.

Beeswax, coconut wax, rapeseed wax and soy wax are more sustainable options than paraffin or other synthetic “unspecified blends”, and are better for the environment. Just make sure you exercise sufficient caution when lighting candles at home, especially if you have children or pets.

Wind-up lamps

Now’s the perfect time to dig out that ancient wind-up lamp you bought for a camping trip back in 2014. Despite being associated with more rustic living, a wind-up lamp can provide hours of light for just a few seconds of elbow grease. Shop around for the best, most reliable model.

Head torch

A head torch can be a godsend for busy people who need a hands-free option. Simply secure the torch around your head with an elasticated band to bring light to the places you need. While Petzl is the market-leader, there are plenty of options available, from Amazon to Argos and beyond.


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