HOUSEHOLDS across the UK could face four days of power blackouts as part of the UK Government’s “worst-case scenario” preparations for winter gas shortages.

Due to a fall in gas imports from France and Norway, it’s understood that ministers are braced to launch emergency measures to conserve supplies.

It comes as experts have predicted energy bills will surge to £3582 in October, with inflation expected to peak at 13%.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine is one of the drivers of the soaring gas costs.

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Blackouts were touted if the UK suffers the perfect storm of below-average temperatures and a drop in imports this winter.

Politics Home reports that the Government has asked leading members of the food and drink industry for their view on how power shortages could affect supplies in the coming months, amid fears supermarket shelves could become empty as the crisis worsens.

And Kit Malthouse, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said hospitals are preparing for fuel shortages.

He told TalkTV: "We are making plans for all sorts of contingencies across public services, particularly critical areas like health.

"One of the plans we talk about is coincidence of events, but we need to make sure that all those hospitals that need access to power have their standby generators properly serviced, they've got diesel tanks full with diesel that might be required."

The National: Malthouse admitted hospitalis were preparing for fuel shortagesMalthouse admitted hospitalis were preparing for fuel shortages

With prices rising sharply as supply becomes disrupted, leading to the preparation of a "reasonable worst-case scenario" document being drawn up a few weeks ago.

A government source told The Mirror that they did not expect blackouts to take place, adding: "The Government creates extreme scenarios and then we model our response to the fake scenario we create for ourselves."

If the upcoming winter is particularly cold, it could lead the Government to rely on more gas shipments from Europe, where gas supplies are already tapered thanks to Putin's cuts.

Under the “central” case in the emergency document, rather than worse-case, shows enough electricity and gas supplies to meet demand.

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On Wednesday Greg Jackson, founder of energy company Octopus Energy, claimed households are “safe” from possible blackouts this winter.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the reality is that domestic supply is safe and that industry, from time to time – sometimes driven by prices, by the way – voluntarily reduce their energy usage.

“So we have a terrible price crisis, but I think the UK is more fortunate than many of our European neighbours that we’ve got more resilient supply.”

A Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “This is wilfully misleading and not something we expect to happen.

“We are not dependent on Russian energy imports, unlike Europe, with access to our own North Sea gas reserves, steady imports from reliable partners, the second largest LNG port infrastructure in Europe, and a gas supply underpinned by robust legal contracts, meaning households, businesses and industry can be confident they will get the electricity and gas they need.”

The National: Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi is reportedly holding crisis talks with energy suppliersChancellor Nadhim Zahawi is reportedly holding crisis talks with energy suppliers (Image: Public)

It comes as it was revealed crisis talks to “knock some heads together” will take place between energy sector bosses and the Government after the price cap was forecast to hit more than £4200 in January.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will ask gas and electricity company executives to submit a breakdown of expected profits and payouts as well as investment plans for the next three years.

Education Secretary James Cleverly confirmed the meeting as he sought to downplay concerns over energy blackouts this winter.

The Cabinet minister said the UK is in a “better position than many” when it comes to domestic energy production but cautioned: “It’s not going to be easy.”