The UK is facing the prospect of power blackouts this winter, an energy expert has warned, as he said the UK Government needed to find more cash to “help people through this crisis”.
With the price cap now due to rise to £3,549 from October, London Energy Consulting chief executive David Cox said the mechanism was “not protecting consumers in any way”.
People will “only get through this winter with the aid of Government money”, he insisted – accusing politicians at Westminster of “glossing over” the problem.
Speaking on The Sunday Show, Mr Cox said: “We’re going to be short of gas in Europe for this winter. That will drive prices potentially even higher.
“Not only that, we might be short of gas to the extent that we have blackouts, we don’t have enough gas to burn to make electricity, and that is a serious problem the Government are glossing over at the moment.”
He said that the North Sea supplies about 40% of the UK’s gas, leaving the UK to import the remainder of its supply.
However, Mr Cox said shortages in Europe meant the UK would not be able to turn there and could instead have to import supplies from countries further afield, such as the US and Quatar.
The analyst said that 40% of UK electricity came from gas-fired generation, adding: “If we don’t get that gas the lights will go out and we will have power cuts.”
He went on to warn “if we have a cold winter, colder than average, we are in serious, serious problems”.
His comments came as he insisted more public cash was needed to help people during the “significant energy crisis”.
Mr Cox said: “Where that money comes from, how it’s paid, are political choices. You can either give it directly to consumers, and we have seen some of that about to happen.
“Or you can give it to the energy companies as a loan from government, and they cap the tariff price at what it is now and that will help everyone, and you can try to target more help on the poorer consumers.
“There’s no other way of doing it, it has to come from Government money, taxpayers’ money, to help people through this crisis. It really is a significant energy crisis.”