UK Businesses are paid to 'Switch Off'


The UK government is planning to pay thousands to businesses for switching off their power in times of need, in a bid to avoid mass blackouts in the winter months.

Britain's energy secretary, Ed Davey, said: "Both the new demand and supply balancing services will be used only as a last resort and are a safety net to protect households in difficult circumstances, such as a hard winter or very high surges in demand. It is entirely voluntary. Nobody will get cut off. No economic activity will be curtailed. The lights are going to stay on."

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Last year, energy regulator Ofgem said that the risk of blackouts could be as high as 25% unless consumers cut demands.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: "I held a meeting around the cabinet table with Ofgem, National Grid and the leading players and sought assurances: is there anything we need to make sure there is no realistic prospect of this happening? The information I have is: now we have to put in place the Energy Act, now we have the capacity mechanism, and now crucially we have the ability to use short-term mechanisms - taking plants out of mothball if necessary, bringing them back online - there's no danger of that happening."

Cameron also added that keeping lights on was "the most important energy policy objective."


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