Tag: gas

Power Cuts

Blackouts in England And Wales

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comOn 9 August 2019, nearly a million people were affected by a major power cut across large areas of England and Wales, including the Midlands, the South East, South West and North East of England, and Wales. This affected businesses, homes and transport networks, with hundreds stranded at railway stations or on trains: and traffic lights stopping working. The electricity suppliers, the National Grid, said two separate power generators had failed but supplies had now been restored. (BBC News)

According to the National Grid’s director of operations, Duncan Burt, this was an “incredibly rare event” and the company would “learn lessons”, but the electricity regulator Ofgen, has demanded an “urgent detailed report” on the problem and could take action against the company, including a fine. The government also said it would investigate what went wrong. (More BBC News)

Incredibly Rare Events Can Happen

You may hear the term “rare, statistically speaking”, which means something is not very likely to happen but IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE for it to happen. It might be rare, but it is possible. And if it is possible, then sod’s law says it will happen at the very worst time possible. If it happens at the worst time, then the consequences, the results, will be the worst possible.

Problems With Power Cuts

The most obvious ones are:

  • The lights go out, no TV, no computer, no radio;
  • The stove cooking your dinner goes off;
  • The heat goes off -it’s cold in winter;
  • Traffic lights may go out, causing traffic chaos;
  • Electric trains like the underground stop running with trains stuck in tunnels or between stations;
  • Lifts stop operating, possible stuck between floors;
  • Petrol pumps stop working – no fuel;
  • ATMs stop working – no money;
  • Freezers defrost.

Planning Ahead

  • Batteries;
  • Battery radio, keep laptop charged up while electricity on
  • Rechargeable Torches kept on charge all the time. or candles and matches (be careful with these);
  • gas stove, camping stove, gas or charcoal barbecue or coal fire for cooking;
  • gas or coal fire for heating;
  • keep a stash of cash for emergencies
  • keep freezers closed, keep them topped up or use boxes and newspapers for insulation and lower heat gain.

Plan For Your Own Comfort And Safety

Make your own plans for your and your family’s comfort, safety and survival.

Warmth Wednesday

Hallowe’en Brexit

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comOctober 31st, Hallowe’en, is the planned date for the UK’s exit from Europe (Brexit). This date is half way through the Autumn season, moving quickly towards Winter. The long range forecast for the end of October, early November, shows a daytime high temperature of 10 – 12 degrees Celsius and a night time low of 4 – 6 degrees Celsius. (daytime high of 53 degrees Fahrenheit to night time low of 42 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Autumn Heat

For most people, this will mean putting at least some heat on, whether that is oil, coal, gas, or electric. Even if there is an Indian summer in the Autumn, this is usually over by the end of October and there can be snow at times in November.
Have you thought about what you could do to lessen the effects of possible shortages of fuel or heat? The Brexit Survival Journal prompts you to think about these questions and provides some ideas on how you can prepare, at the least cost, to ensure you do not go cold or without warm food.


The Yellowhammer report predicts that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the planned removal of all tariffs from oil (and other goods) entering the UK, will make the UK’s fuel industry unprofitable, which could mean the closure of two oil refineries. Whether this could lead to fuel and heating oil restrictions is not known, however, lorries moving through ports are thought likely to experience up to 2 days of delays, which will reduce the level of all road transported goads entering the UK.

Oil is usually transported by boat to the UK and by road tanker after refining. Coal is also usually imported by boat and distributed throughout the UK by lorry.

The Yellowhammer report, or at least the details released so far, does not predict shortages of oil or coal in the event of a no-deal Brexit, although it does predict the closure of two oil refineries and the loss of 2,000 direct jobs. This could lead to protests and strike action which could affect oil supplies.

There does not appear to be any mention of electricity power cuts or gas supply disruption.

Quite apart from any possible difficulties in importing oil to the UK, it is paid for in US dollars. It is predicted that if the UK leaves the EU on a no-deal Brexit, the exchange value of the pound sterling against the US dollar will drop considerably. This will lead to an increase in the cost of heating oil and vehicle fuel.

Build Up Stocks Where Possible

While shortages of heating fuels and vehicle fuel does not appear to be predicted as a high possibility, it is possible that there could be some disruption to supplies. There could also be sharp price increases due to a possible drop in the value of the pound sterling against the US dollar, so where it is possible to build up fuel stocks ahead of time, it may be prudent to do so.

Importance Of Exchange Rates For Brexit

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Cost Of Heating Oil, Petrol, Diesel and Gas

Have you bought heating oil recently? What about petrol or diesel for your car or gas (natural or cylinder)? How much did it cost? Was it different from the last time you bought it?

www.brexitsurvivaljournal.comThe Cost of A Barrel Of Oil

Heating oil, petrol, diesel and natural gas are all fossil fuels and while some, including coal, are produced in the UK, most are imported from countries with reserves of oil underground or under the sea. The oil reserves in these countries are used to produce the different kinds of fuel we use, such as heating oil and fuel for cars.

What Does This Have To Do With Exchange Rates

Oil is sold in barrels and charged for in US dollars. This is worldwide (at present, some countries are looking to change this.) That means that this country pays for all imported oil in US dollars. If you have been on holiday to the US, you will know that the amount of dollars you can buy for your sterling varies with the exchange rate. If the exchange rate goes up, you get more dollars for your pound. If the exchange rate goes down you get fewer dollars for your pound. At 4 August 2019, the exchange rate is $1.22. That means you get $1.22 for every pound you exchange. So if you wanted to exchange £100, you would get $122 back, for spending in the US. On 4 of July 2019, the exchange rate was $1.26, so you would have got $126 in exchange for £100. On 20 May 2016, a month before the Brexit referendum, the exchange rate was $1.45, so for that £100 you would have got $145.

How Does That Affect The Cost Of Oil

No matter what the exchange rate is, you still have to pay the same amount for a barrel of oil in US Dollars. The oil producers set these prices. The cost of a barrel of OPEC oil is $63.79 at present, this requires  £52.46 to pay for it at an exchange rate of $1.22. If the exchange rate were still at the pre-Brexit referendum value of $1.45, that barrel of oil would cost £44.

Exchange Rates Are Not The Only Factors

Of course not. Oil has to be transported from where it is produced, refined, stored, transported, etc. That all adds to the cost and Brexit has nothing to do with that. Exchange rates vary all the time, anyway. When the Brexit result was announced, the exchange rate dropped considerably and then bounced back again. It has varied quite a bit but has not recovered its pre-referendum value.

Low Exchange Rates Can Be A Benefit

Yes, if you are exporting goods to other countries, then a low exchange rate is beneficial, you can sell more goods because your goods will be priced more cheaply than other similar ones, provided the other country does not impose an import tax.

The country will buy fewer imported goods because they will be more expensive than locally produced ones.

Tourists will be more likely to come to the UK because holidays will be cheaper and British people will be more likely to take staycations because holidays abroad will be more expensive.

But What About Oil

Back to oil and fuel and gas and petrol and diesel. If the Brexit negotiations or a no-deal Brexit create pressure on the exchange rate for the pound, then the cost of home heating oil, petrol, diesel and gas are likely to go up.

Should You Get Oil Sooner Not Later

Of course, if the Brexit negotiations go well, then the exchange rate is likely to go up. That will make oil cheaper. If the Brexit negotiations stall or there is a no-deal exit, then the pound may well fall further, making the cost of oil etc., higher.

31 October 2019

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnston, says that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019, whether there is a deal or not. There may be import difficulties at ports with a no-deal, making it harder to bring oil into the UK and causing possible short-term shortages. For those with storage tanks running on low, that could mean some cold days in Autumn and winter, especially if there are power outages that mean water and fuel cannot be pumped. Some people may choose to buy their heating oil early, topping up at short intervals leading up to Brexit and also to keep their vehicles topped up with fuel. If you want to be as prepared as possible for what might come with Brexit, then get the Brexit Survival Journal and develop your own lists of what to stock up on, including heating well ahead of Brexit.


NOTE: This article does NOT provide financial advice. You must do your own investigations before deciding whether or not to buy heating oil or any other product and when you should buy it.

Stay At Home


For most people, staying at home is the easiest and safest option in troubled times and it is assumed that this is where you will be.

If you want to stay within your home and not have to go outside to get supplies, you will need to make sure you have enough stuff to last you for about 3 weeks at least, possibly even 6 weeks. You may not use your emergency supplies all the time, you may just need to call on them when there are shortages and then stock them back up again when fresh supplies come in. But isn’t it good to know that you will be able to feed yourself and your family and have some comforts if necessary?

Hopefully, any troubles will be over and supplies will be back in local stores again, within about 6 weeks, though there may be shortages and some items may take a lot longer before supplies are available whenever you want them.


Your first priority will be shelter. But with Brexit, hopefully, this will be your own home and with any luck you will have your normal utilities, water, electricity and a cooking stove.

If you need to move out of your home, other preparations will be needed ahead of time, this is dealt with later.

Staying in your own home is the best bet in most cases but you will need to prepare in case any of the utilities (like water, gas and electricity) are interrupted, as well as store food that your family can eat: and store drinking water.


How do you cook meals at present?

  • don’t – eat takeaways or eat out
  • electricity
  • piped gas
  • cylinder gas
  • solid fuel stove
  • couple of different methods

Your Plan

Think of how you could manage to cook if the power goes down, or the gas or fuel are delayed. If you have only electricity for cooking, for instance, you will need to think of another way of being able to cook. Maybe you have a coal fire? Maybe you need to buy a portable camping stove? Think about what you need to DO in order to be able to cook. Perhaps you need to stockpile some more gas cylinders or more coal?
What is the Plan……………………………………………………………………………….
When will you do this? ……………………………………………………………………….
What is the Budget? ………………………………………………………………………….