Brits marked their unrest with soaring energy bills with a major power switch off last week. People across the country are now being urged to take part in the next Big Power Switch Off event
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People are being asked to switch off their lights as part of their Big Power Switch Off in the UK.
Homes across the country plunged into darkness to protest against energy prices on Sunday, April 10.
One person who took part in the event said on Twitter: “Sitting in the darkness for the big power switch off was somewhat peaceful but bittersweet. A massive [middle finger] to energy companies and the government though. #BigPowerOff”
There is talk that the event could become weekly as the reason behind the protest continues to affect struggling Brits in a cost of living crisis.
So what is the Big Switch Off and when is the next one?
What is the Big Power Switch Off?
The Big Switch Off is a nationwide “non-partisan” protest that aims to call on the government to do more to tackle energy costs by turning off all power in a person’s home for 10 minutes.
The idea is that people do this at the same time all over the country in order to target the revenue of major energy companies and affect the National Grid.
Of the idea, organizers claim: “The idea is that, if it won’t put you at risk, you switch off all of your electrical appliances, lights, or switch off at the breakers for 10 minutes.
“This short power off will cause an imbalance on the national grid, where consumption becomes lower than predicted and therefore the electrical supply is too great.”
The National Grid needs to equal the amount of energy consumed, and if it does not, it is believed this could cause a blackout. To avoid this, the National Grid takes note of the spike in energy use, which can lead to significant costs.
The cause brings to attention the spiraling energy costs that have hit families hard this year. Already at record highs, Ofgem announced that the energy price cap from affected UK households would go up by £693 per year on average.
This is on top of a cost of living crisis in which Chancellor Rishi Sunak has increased taxes for everyday working people, while water bills, petrol prices and mobile phone bills have all gone up.
When is the next Big Power Switch Off?
The next Big Power Switch Off in the UK is planned for 7pm on April 16.
A 10-minute blackout is planned and one of its advocates, author Karen Brady, said it is “just before Parliament arrives back from their holidays.”
There have been calls to do the switch off every weekend to try and bring attention to the problems caused by energy prices.
The cost of living crisis is also seeing UK benefits fall to their lowest value in 50 years, according to anti-poverty campaigners.
Helen Barnard of the Joseph Rowntree foundations said: “It means that in terms of their values, how much bread and milk you can buy in the shops, it is the biggest fall in value since 1972.”