HC Deb 04 December 1947 vol 445 cc100-1W
102 and 103. Sir W. Darling

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power (1) what figures are available to show the effect of the staggering of electricity consumption as a result of the recent recommendations;

(2) what is the peak load period during the day throughout Great Britain and to what extent it is possible to reduce electricity consumption, domestic and other at these times.

Mr. Gaitskell

The national peak load periods vary slightly with the season but are at present between 7 and 9.30 in the morning and 4 to 6.30 in the afternoon, the highest half-hours being between 8 and 8.30 in the morning and and 5 and 5.30 in the afternoon. The figures available to show the effect of staggering on the peak load are obscured by many variable factors, but it is clear that a considerable contribution towards reducing peak load has resulted from the arrangements made by industry not only to transfer the load to other times of the day but also to make use of alternative sources of power. Figures for a recent week show an increase in the maximum demand of only 0.9 per cent. against an increase in total consumption of 4.8 per cent. over last year. The night load has risen by about 500 Megawatts and the evening load after 7 p.m. by an even larger amount while the actual peak loads are closely comparable to last year's. After allowing for the considerable increase in the domestic and non-industrial load at peak periods which appears to have taken place, it is reasonable to conclude that the efforts of industry have produced a transfer of between 750 and 1000 Megawatts from the peak periods. Any further reduction in peak load must come mainly from the domestic and non-industrial consumer and it is of the utmost importance that they should use as little electricity as possible during the periods of peak demand.