By Helen Cahill 6 August 2022 • 4:00pm & More Live News

The Grid has warned factory owners face energy rationing if they do not accept payments to switch off machinery.

Industrial users of energy have told the Grid they could switch to using diesel to power some sites but that local authorities would need to agree to waive environmental permits.

The Chemical Industry Association has also warned that the number of sites that could operate using back-up electricity generators running on diesel are “limited in number”.

Large industrial operators have called for more advanced notice of a gas supply crunch than in previous emergencies. They have said they need at least two or three days’ notice rather than a requirement to shut off operations within 24 hours.

Tom Wilcock, a compliance manager at National Grid, will hold a meeting with energy experts in September to explain the nation’s emergency plans as part of a “series of assurance and awareness events” ahead of winter. An industry source said that although the emergency exercise had been taking place for decades, it has taken on a particular significance this year.

They said: “We don’t know what the exact scenario will be but it will move through the different stages of an emergency.

“Obviously there is a different context to it this year given what we are seeing in Europe and all eyes are on each country’s preparations for the forthcoming winter.

“The context this year is that we have a war going on in Ukraine, and that is making people a little more nervous, and it’s right that we look at those concerns and make sure we are as prepared as we can be.”

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