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England V Uruguay Match to Cause Biggest Surge in Power Demand

18 Jun 2014

National Grid survey finds 56% expected to watch England v Uruguay game at home, fuelling surge in power demand. With the World Cup about to kick-off, National Grid expects the Group D clash between England and Uruguay (19 June, 8pm) to cause the biggest surge in power demand during the tournament’s group stage.

Grid forecasters say a surge in demand of around 1,300MW is expected at half time in England’s second match as people switch on kettles and lights. The “pickup” in demand is expected to be equivalent to 520,000 kettles being switched on at the same time.

These surges – or TV pickups – happen when a large number of people across Great Britain collectively switch on kettles and lights during a break in programming or after a major event, like a big cup final or the climax of a major soap storyline. Tonight’s World Cup curtain-raiser between Brazil and Croatia is expected to generate a pickup equivalent to 160,000 kettles being switched on (400MW).

A National Grid survey of the British public found the majority of viewers (56%) are likely to watch the England v Uruguay game at home. This, coupled with half-time coinciding with when it gets dark across the country, will mean significant pickups in demand at half-time and full-time. The England v Italy match is expected to create a smaller surge (900MW/360k kettles) due to the late kick-off time (11pm), which could discourage some casual viewers.

National Grid’s survey found:

  • Almost a quarter of fans (24%) plan to watch England’s opener with Italy in a pub, bar or club, despite the 11pm kick off;
  • 70% plan to watch eleven or more games during the World Cup;
  • 59% will watch their team’s games with friends and 56% will watch them with family members; and
  • 40% say they will probably watch fewer matches over the course of the tournament due to later kick-off times.

John Young, Energy Forecasting Analyst, National Grid, said:
“We’ve been preparing for the World Cup by looking at data from previous tournaments and asking people to tell us about their viewing plans. As the electricity system operator, this helps us predict how much power will be needed to meet surges in demand during and after matches.

“In our control room we will be watching the England v Uruguay game particularly closely. With 56% of people tuning in at home, we expect the match to cause the largest surge in electricity demand in the early part of the tournament. This is equivalent to over 500,000 kettles being switched on at half-time.

“In the group stage, we expect the England games to create the biggest surges in demand. We expect the size of these surges to increase if England progress in the tournament.”

Story appears courtesy of National Grid.