Rota Load Disconnection
The National Grid's (NG) 2022 winter outlook states there should be enough electricity in the UK to meet demand. In the unlikely event there's more demand than power available, the UK has plans in place to deal with this.
One option is that the UK can manage demand through Rota Load Disconnection (RLD). This is where the NG disconnect power from specific areas for defined periods of time. This would do this on a rotating basis across the country.
Unlike power cuts, RLDs are planned, controlled and temporary.
While most power cuts are unexpected, in the event of an RLD:
- The Government will make an announcement to let you know it's coming
- You can check the Rota Disconnection Schedule to see if/when the RLD will disconnect your area
- NG carries out disconnections by area groups. You can find your group by entering your post code at www.powercut105.com. It’ll also be on the top right of your energy bill. It'll be a letter from A-Z next to your address in bold. Once you find your letter you can visit energyemergencies.org.uk (it will only be live once a rota disconnection schedule starts) to view the schedule
The Government will tell those in an area that NG are going to disconnect to:
- Check they have a battery powered torch that works
- Charge phones and laptops in advance where possible
- Check on vulnerable people
- Keep fridges and freezers closed during the disconnection (food/drink inside should be fine if you do this)
- Turn a light on so you know when NG restore the power
The outages shouldn't last longer than 3 hours. NG will rotate the disconnections around the country. This means that no one area should experience daily outages.
What about hospitals, hospices, schools etc?
Business continuity plans vary across organisations. Since power cuts can happen at any time, most organisations like these have plans in place for these occasions. While NG's winter outlook doesn't expect RLDs, it's sensible to review any risks and take precautions. If you think your business should be a protected site, you can check with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). You can find your DNO region on the National Grid website.
What about business losses?
With a scheduled RLD, the Government would provide advanced notice so businesses can plan ahead. If any losses occur due to an RLD, businesses should speak to their insurance company to check what they cover.