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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Swale faces power cuts

Gordon Henderson warned that homes and businesses across Swale could be facing power cuts within years. For the first time since the three-day week of the 1970s, consumers will be told to prepare for blackouts, since the supply of electricity will fail to meet demand at peak times.

Over the next few years many power stations will reach the end of their lives, or have to shut because of EU law. But the Government has failed to ensure that replacements are available in time. The small print of Whitehall documents reveal that Ministers have pencilled in power cuts of 3,000 Megawatt hours per year by 2017. This is the equivalent of 670,000 people being without electricity for a day – in other words an area roughly covering Swale, Canterbury, Maidstone and Medway.

In practice the blackouts are most likely to strike at peak times – in the early evening during the winter months – hitting many more people for shorter periods when the need for electricity is greatest. The expected gap of 3,000 Megawatt hours could even mean a simultaneous hour-long power cut for 16 million people simultaneously on a winter evening.

Mr Henderson said:
“I am extremely concerned that homes and businesses in Swale will face blackouts because the Labour Government put its head in the sand about energy policy for a decade. Ministers have been forced to admit they expect the lights to go out for the first time since the three-day week of the 1970s.

“Conservatives will act quickly to tackle Labour’s energy crisis. We will increase generating capacity, improve energy efficiency by insulating people’s homes, adopt the latest green technology and make Britain’s energy policy a matter of national security.”

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