As the UK heads towards the winter season, with the darker nights drawing in, reports have revealed the potential of blackouts should we see an extreme winter this year, thanks to the ongoing energy crisis. At the beginning of the month, the head of the National Grid spoke out about the potential power cuts the UK could face in the winter months.
At the Financial Times’s Energy Transition Summit John Pettigrew spoke about the “unlikely” scenarios in which Britain may not have sufficient energy supplies. However, Pettigrew did confirm that periods of particular concern are throughout January and February when weather can be at its coldest. He said the company would have to impose rolling power cuts on some of the “deepest darkest evenings in January and February” if generators failed to secure enough gas to meet demand.
Pettigrew said that if the blackouts were implemented, UK families could experience them between ‘4pm and 7pm on really cold weekdays throughout January and February’ in the event of reduced gas imports from Europe.
With the potential for blackouts many have been rightly concerned about the fact that no power in their fridge could see a lot of food waste, and given the cost of living crisis seeing grocery shopping prices soar, this could end up costing people more money.
Refrigeration experts at ADK Kooling have commented on this issue, offering advice to UK homeowners to help ease their panic. So, how long can your fridge last without power? Here’s a breakdown of the best tips for keeping your food fresh.
How long can your fridge last without power during a blackout?
Experts have said that your fridge should keep your food safe for up to four hours, and given the National Grid have said the blackouts will be three hours long, it means your food should be fine.
Omar Idrissi for ADK Kooling said: “Despite the fact that UK households will know ahead of time if they will suffer a blackout, many of us are still worried about what this means for our homes. The most common concern is homeowners asking how long their fridge freezers can go without power.”
“The good news is that a working refrigerator will keep your food safe for up to four hours, and with the blackouts only lasting three hours, your food should be perfectly fine and safe to consume within this period. However, if your fridge freezer is left without power for more than four hours, you should throw away perishable foods such as meat, eggs, fish, and poultry, along with any leftovers.”
Top tips to preserve your food during a blackout
Omar at ADK Kooling also revealed the companies top tips for preserving food in the event of a blackout:
- Keep Doors Closed. Try not to open your refrigerator door during the period of a blackout. Doing so will let cold air escape and warm air in.
- Move frozen food to the bottom of the freezer and group them together. Since heat rises, keep food grouped together in the lower portion of your freezer to help keep it frozen for as long as possible.
- Buy ice and gel packs ahead of time. Ice can be a real lifesaver during a long-term power outage. Fill up your freezer with plenty of ice and gel packs. if the power goes out, you can extend the life of your perishable food.
- Get refrigerator and freezer thermometers if you don’t have them already. Thermometers like these can help you keep track of your food quality in the event of a power outage.
Why the UK could see blackouts this winter
While the UK does not import gas from Russia it does import electricity and gas from European countries that do rely on Russian gas. The UK Government has been taking steps such as putting coal-fired power stations on standby instead of closing them and creating a service reward for not using power during peak times, to avoid blackouts.