The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has informed the public that three-hour planned blackouts are highly possible if the ongoing crises lead to a gas shortage this winter. The ESO outlines this as the worst-case scenario in their new report.

"In the unlikely event we were in this situation, it would mean that some customers could be without power for pre-defined periods during a day - generally, this is assumed to be for three-hour blocks," shared the ESO as an unlikely shortage of gas can result to the planned three-hour power cuts to protect energy supplies.

The affected areas and the number of people left without electricity would depend on the number of gas power stations that would be forced to shut down.

To remedy this problem, families are encouraged to take part in a new voluntary service scheme that will give money back on their bills if they choose to only use appliances outside of high-demand times. This scheme would work as an opt-in system for those using smart energy appliances.

The Mirror reports that households should expect to receive a text message asking them only to use electricity when there is less demand, which is typically after 7 pm. Participation in this scheme includes charging your electric car outside peak hours and using your washing machine or dishwasher at night instead of throughout the day.

The "Demand Flexibility Service" will take place starting in November and will continue up until March. Target power savings is around two gigawatts and is expected to be implemented at least 12 times.

Responding to these winter predictions, a spokesperson of the UK government said: "The UK has a secure and diverse energy system. We are confident in our plans to protect households and businesses in the full range of scenarios this winter, in light of Russia's illegal war in Ukraine."

"To strengthen this position further, we have put plans in place to secure supply, and National Grid, working alongside energy suppliers and Ofgem, will launch a voluntary service to reward users who reduce demand at peak times," continued the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's statement.

European electricity prices soared to new records last week