UK Is 'Very Lucky' Compared To Rest Of Europe Over Energy Crisis, Minister Claims

The UK is actually providing less support to its citizens when it comes to energy supplies than its European neighbours.
Victoria Prentis on Sky News on Monday
Victoria Prentis on Sky News on Monday

The UK is “very lucky” compared to its European neighbours when it comes to the energy crisis, according to one minister.

Work and pensions minister Victoria Prentis was trying to defend the government’s decision not to launch a campaign urging the public to cut down on their energy use during an interview with Sky News.

She said: “Well, that’s something we’re thinking about, but at the moment we don’t think we need to spend a lot of money on a campaign like that.

“The reason for that is that we are very lucky, particularly when you look at other places in Europe that don’t have the security of energy supply that we have.”

Prentis’ comments come after reports from last Thursday from the National Grid that homes could be hit by three-hour blackouts this winter. Planned power outages have not been seen since in the UK since the 1970s, but the ongoing war in Ukraine means Russia is still limiting its energy exports to Europe.

It is true that the UK is less dependent on fossil fuels coming from Russia than the rest of Europe – but the country is still set to lose the highest proportion of its spending power this year among western Europe, according to the IMF.

What’s more, the UK is an outlier in Europe having not encouraged its population to ration energy supplies.

France has introduced an “energy sobriety” keeping homes to a maximum temperature of 19 degrees; Germany has followed suit, and will be switching off illuminated advertising after 10pm; and in Spain, heating is also limited to 19 degrees, and shops can’t have lights on.

Italy wants people to turn the heating down by one degree, while Finland is calling for people to take shorter showers.

The UK is also the worst affected country in western Europe when it comes to the energy crisis, due to inefficient insulation and a reliance on gas.

Still, Prentis told Sky News: “We’re only about 20% reliant on the imports of gas in the country, so we’re fairly secure.

“The National Grid who advise on this have said that we have a buffer, and we’re pretty certain that we will have enough energy to go through the winter.”

She added that the UK “doesn’t need to frighten people”.

The minister concluded: “In this world very little is definite, but the National Grid has said that we’re fairly secure, and it’s very unlikely that we won’t have enough electricity this winter.′


What's Hot