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December 09
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British ministers are discussing launching a public awareness campaign to reduce electricity consumption this winter as fears of winter blackouts grow, The Guardian reported.

Households could be asked to turn off their thermostats and use dishwashers and washing machines at night when energy demand is lower, according to plans being discussed between the business department, energy companies and grid operator National Grid.

Under the plans under discussion, consumers may be sent recommendations on their energy use.

Sources close to the discussions said government officials and industry executives are determined to avoid blackouts. A public awareness campaign could help reduce energy stress during the winter.

Ofgem, the energy regulator, said there is a significant risk of gas shortages this winter.

National Grid will unveil its winter power supply projections Thursday, giving its first comprehensive assessment of the risk of blackouts this winter.

The long-awaited document should show how resilient Britain's energy resources are in the coming months. A preliminary review published in August showed that Britain should be able to meet its energy needs in the coming months. Since then, however, Norway has said it may prioritize supplying the domestic market over exporting electricity.

This year, National Grid doubled the length of its annual emergency gas shortage drills from two to four days.

A government analysis predicted that Britain could face a four-day power outage in January if there is a gas shortage and weather conditions are particularly severe.

Although European countries have made great strides in filling gas storage and reducing consumption, there are concerns about supply and high prices next year.

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