How Students Can Prepare For Winter Power Cuts

We all know about the problems the UK is facing when it comes to the energy crisis. 

Absolutely everyone will see price rises to their energy bills, no matter who they are or where they live.  

On top of that we have been warned by the National Grid that we may might face winter power cuts this year.  

It is understandable that you might be worried about what to do should your student home face power cuts this winter.  

We’ve put together a guide to explain what might happen as well as some tips to stay warm and to manage your electricity consumption. 

winter power cuts

What Has Been Said About Winter Power Cuts?

In October, The National Grid warned that the UK are facing an energy crisis and households may end up facing winter power cuts.

If we do end up in a situation where energy supplies run dangerously low, each home could lose power for up to three hours at a time. 

Although, The National Grid is doing everything they can to avoid these blackouts.  

  • Households that have smart meters installed have been offered a discount of up to £100 if they choose to cut their electricity use over a number of days. 
  • The National Grid will give advance warning of a power cut. 24 hours’ notice will be given to households that will experience a blackout.
  • Customers asked to reduce their electricity for just one hour per day. 
  • The time will most likely be between 4pm and 7pm.  

Winter Power Cuts

How You Can Prepare For Winter Power Cuts

It is better to fully prepare yourself for winter power cuts even if the National Grid doesn’t enforce them on British households.  

These are a few tips to follow for being ready for power cuts, find out below. 

Preparing for winter power cuts

Have A Torch Ready

Make sure you have a working torch ready in your student home for when the lights go out this winter.  

Put it away somewhere that is easy to find, especially if the lights go out in a short space of time or when you least expect it.  

The last thing that you want when there is a power cut is to be fumbling around in the dark trying to find the item that will give you light.  

Of course, most of us do have torches on our phones these days, but you don’t want to be reliant on that, as you’ll want to preserve as much battery on your phone as you can. 

Torch power cut

Have Batteries Ready 

Alongside your torch, also have some unused batteries ready and quick to use too.  

This should include batteries for your torch itself, but also for any appliances or things around the house that use batteries and might be short of power when you need them most.  

Torch batteries

Prepare Some Candles 

A nice way to provide some light is to have some candles lit.  

This might be something that you do during the winter anyway to create a cosy ambience, but they could be essential during winter power cuts.  

If you are using candles, be sure to have them safely away in a box, with matches close by.  

Always take great care when lighting candles though, as they could be a fire hazard if you are not careful.

Plus, lighting candles can go against your tenancy agreement depending on where you live, so bare this in mind.  

Candles power cut

Have An Emergency Box

An emergency box is an essential item for any household, but it becomes even more important should you face winter power cuts.  

An emergency box could be where you keep your candles, matches, and lighters.  

It can also be where you keep your torch, alongside a first aid kit for worst-case scenarios.

You could even pop in an old phone with a fully charged battery just in case you run out of power on your phone and need to make an emergency call. 

First aid box

Know Your Contacts

How many of us remember anything other than our own mobile number? It’s just not needed any more really! 

If you end up facing a power cut and your phone has run out of battery, you might need to know an emergency contact number.  

Prepare for this eventuality by writing down your key emergency contacts such as close family members, your partner, GP, pharmacist, and your landlord. 

Phone call power cut

What To Do During A Power Cut?

When the power does go out and you can’t use your heating or appliances, what should you do to stay warm and to keep vital appliances running well in the long-term? 

What to do during a winter power cut

Wrap Up Warm 

Dress with plenty of layers, as if you were heading outside into the cold.  

This could include jumpers, woolly hats, and gloves.  

Curl up on the sofa and cover yourself in blankets, light up some candles and get out a good book.  

This could be the most pleasant way to stay warm and to keep your mind active during a power cut.  

Wrap up warm

Keep Rooms Warm 

It is important to eliminate draughts.  

Close all the windows and close all doors in between the different areas of your home.  

If you are not using a room, close the door to it.  

Make sure all curtains are closed to, preventing the heat from escaping outside.  

Keeping rooms warm winter

Look After Chilled & Frozen Food 

Your appliances will be affected by the power cuts so think about all the chilled and frozen food you have in your fridge and freezer.  

Luckily, modern appliances will keep food cold for a fair few hours if you keep the doors closed whilst there is a power cut.  

Items will keep in good condition for between four to six hours in the fridge, or 15 to 24 hours in your freezer.  

Cover the freezer door with blankets to give it an extra layer of insulation too.  

Frozen and chilled food power cut

How Students Can Save On Energy Bills

We all need to try and do our bit to cut our energy bills, as prices continue to rise.  

Here are some top tips to helps you save on bills over the coming winter: 

  • Take a step back and decide whether you need to turn your thermostat up or whether an extra layer or a blanket will do to keep you warm. 
  • Invest in an electric blanket, a hot water bottle, and slippers, as this will save money on electricity rather than just turning the heating on. 
  • Make good use of the university library by charging your phone, laptop, and other small devices at the library for free.  
  • Be clinical and regular with meter readings, as this will give you the most accurate energy bills. 
  • Wash your clothes on a low temperature. 

How students can save on energy bills

If you’re living in our student accommodation, you will benefit from all-inclusive bills so you can make your student loan stretch that bit further.  

We hope our tips and advice have been helpful to prepare you for the possibility of winter power cuts. 

Make sure you are wrapped up as warm as possible and limit your power consumption throughout the rest of the year.  

Whatever you decide to do, stay safe this winter, and stay warm and healthy wherever possible. 

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