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UK Grid Turns Screws on Industry to Cut Winter Gas Use

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Britain’s grid operator is set to crank up the pressure on big energy users, taking a more forceful stance on curbing their natural gas consumption as it tries to head off the threat of fuel shortages.

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(Bloomberg) — Britain’s grid operator is set to crank up the pressure on big energy users, taking a more forceful stance on curbing their natural gas consumption as it tries to head off the threat of fuel shortages.

National Grid Plc is meeting with regional gas network companies on Thursday to discuss how to get more factories and businesses to cut consumption this winter. With companies reluctant to voluntarily step up, the grid managers will examine new incentives to reduce their gas use, according to documents published ahead of the meeting.

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The grid operator is seeking to sharpen its tools for saving gas this winter in case Russia turns off flows to Europe. Plans have already been rolled out to keep a reserve of coal plants online if gas supplies to power plants are curbed. Getting large industrial users to agree to conserve fuel could be key in avoiding disruptions to households.

National Grid is suggesting a commercially attractive, option-like contract that would encourage companies to use less gas. It would also give the grid operator a clearer idea of how much demand it can expect to cut from the system.

Getting industrial and commercial consumers to participate could reduce the likelihood, severity and duration of a gas deficit emergency, according to National Grid. There will be two further meetings in July to hammer out a solution.

There are similar plans being rolled out to reduce electricity use if needed. The power system operator of National Grid has written to companies to find out how much power consumption they are willing to cut and at what price. 



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