20 Oct 2022

Are we facing a winter energy crisis?

Part 1 in a series

Don’t be caught off guard. Be prepared to address your stakeholders.

Winter can be a favourite season of the year for many people with the bracing weather,  crunching of boots in the snow and twinkle of festive lights.

Behind the scenes, energy companies focus closely on meeting customers’ increasing power needs. It’s a routine annual operational planning and forecasting exercise to ensure that generating plants and electricity and gas networks work effectively to keep their customers’ lights on and their homes heated.

However, this winter is likely to be one of greater trepidation. The energy industry is now facing supply reductions from electricity and gas shortfalls.   

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has painted a depressing outlook of an upcoming ‘winter of global discontent’ from the rising cost of living, warming planet and deadly conflicts. This situation is exacerbated by increasing energy concerns.

The electricity system operator for Great Britain, National Grid ESO, highlighted in their recent Winter Outlook Report 2022 that, “the unprecedented turmoil and volatility in energy markets in Europe and beyond, and shortfalls of gas in continental Europe could all have a range of knock-on impacts in Britain.”

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) “expects most US households will spend more on energy this winter.”

Similar messages are being repeated across other countries as the world grapples to achieve its shared energy and climate goals against a challenging economic and geopolitical backdrop.

All electricity generators, gas transporters, network operators and energy suppliers will need to be on top of their game and have contingency measures in place to manage potential weather challenges such as strong winds and heavy snowfalls that can disrupt networks, and very low temperatures that lead to high energy spikes.

Being on top of their game translates into:

  • being prepared to handle routine winter weather conditions
  • being prepared to handle electricity and gas shortfalls
  • implementing a robust communications management plan to keep stakeholders updated—including employees, customers, service providers, investors and the general public

The more energy companies are prepared for the unexpected and able to react and communicate quickly and decisively, the greater their customers will trust in their ability to restore energy supplies safely, efficiently and be seen in a positive light.

This approach will determine if winter 2022 will remembered for the right or wrong reasons!

Do you have an updated stakeholder communication plan for a 2022 winter energy crisis?
Spoken Word Communications can help you prepare for the unexpected.

Part 2 of this series will cover the elements of a robust communication strategy in the face of an energy crisis.