Blackouts 'could result in tremendous loss of stock'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Plague on everyone: potential blackouts this winter another crisis for sector to deal with (Credit: Getty/Imgorthand)
Plague on everyone: potential blackouts this winter another crisis for sector to deal with (Credit: Getty/Imgorthand)

Related tags Legislation Energy Government

Potential blackouts this winter would put pubs and breweries in a position they “will not be able to recover from” as some operators feel the Government has imposed a “war of attrition” against the sector.

This comes as National Grid’s Winter Outlook​ report, released yesterday (Thursday 6 October), claimed if the country’s gas and electricity supply were to simultaneously run low, the nation could potentially face planned blackouts in three-hour intervals across rotational locations over the coming months.

Licensee of the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell, Suffolk, Brendan Padfield stated if blackouts were to be implemented this Winter, it would be a “plague” for everyone.

War of attrition 

He said: “[The Government] won't give a thought to the nuances of the hospitality industry, it will be a plague on everyone's house by rota, not by sector.

“If the three hours comes at a critical time, namely lunch or dinner, then after the slings and arrows of lockdown, of voluntary closures due to Covid, the further bombardment of energy, inflation, the assaults of our food inflation, it's just yet another crisis we're going have to deal with slowly.

“It feels like there's a war of attrition against hospitality, as soon as you get over one thing, and you think you'll come out the other side, then it gets worse and not better.”

Additionally, Padfield explained blackouts would prevent hospitality businesses from operating, causing a decrease in consumers confidence and making them “think twice before going out”.

In its report, National Grid attributed the “unlikely” risk of blackouts to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, stating it had created "unprecedented turmoil and volatility" in the energy markets.

Critically difficult time 

While National Grid’s report detailed nationwide potential blackouts were a precautionary measure and the UK was currently expected to have enough energy supply to last the Winter, trade bodies across the sector have called on the Government for reassurance of “guaranteed” supply.

British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Like their customers, pubs and breweries rely on a sustained, guaranteed energy supply.

“It is essential they are able to provide welcoming spaces and keep production lines running.

“Publicans and brewers have already been facing uncertainty for some time as we emerged from the pandemic into a cost of doing business crisis and have tried to remain resilient.

“Many have taken measures to ensure they can keep trading, from reducing opening hours to changing menu options, but blackouts could result in a tremendous loss of stock that businesses simply will not be able to recover.

“This news will add further strain to businesses at an already critically difficult time.”

Related topics Legislation

Related news

Show more