Fridges and freezers in millions of British homes will automatically be switched off without the owner’s consent under a ‘Big Brother’ regime to reduce the strain on power stations.
The National Grid is demanding that all new appliances be fitted with sensors that could shut them down when the UK’s generators struggle to meet demand for electricity.
Electric ovens, air-conditioning units and washing machines will also be affected by the proposals, which are already backed by one of the European Union’s most influential energy bodies. They are pushing for the move as green energy sources such as wind farms are less predictable than traditional power stations, increasing the risk of blackouts.
Last night critics:
Condemned the principle that outside forces should be allowed to control appliances.
Warned the new sensors would add £40 to the average price of white goods for consumers.
Hit out at the energy giants who would make millions of pounds extra profit under the scheme, as it would save them from firing up reserve generators or paying factories to switch off furnaces to quell demand. There is no suggestion that consumers will be compensated for having their appliances shut down.