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UK factories braced for energy rationing this winter amid fears Russia could turn off the taps

Energy rationing could be on the cards this winter, with British factory owners suffering constraints to their energy supplies.

There are growing fears Russia could strategically cut off gas into Europe, with Kremlin already halting supplies into multiple companies and countries across the continent which refused to pay for gas in roubles.

The rouble requirement was itself a retaliatory measure to Western sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

National Grid has told energy companies it may impose “involuntary” energy restrictions if other emergency measures such as payments to switch off machinery fail to reduce demand to sustainable levels, according to The Telegraph.

The FTSE 100 company, which runs Britain’s gas mains, has issued the rationing warning in talks with power station owners, as it plans to navigate the coldest months of the year.

It is set to meet major energy suppliers such as SSE, Exxon, Equinor and RWE this coming Thursday to discuss emergency payments to industrial users.

“If demand curtailment is required, it is currently expected to be involuntary via the emergency procedures”, it warned in documents seen by the newspaper, and issued ahead of Thursday’s meeting.

Nevertheless, it wants to hear from users and suppliers about what commercial terms would “stimulate participation.”

Power generators are part of the talks, although the scheme is considered “more suitable” for large industrial users.

The UK’s largest gas and electricity users include manufacturers such as Tata Steel, British Glass, CF Fertilisers, Ineos, and Jaguar Land Rover – however, it is not clear which companies were part of the talks.

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