Reduce your gas usage to help Ukraine

A vigil for Ukraine in St Albans

A vigil for Ukraine in St Albans - Credit: Liz Needham

Could you go without gas for two days a week to cut off funding for Putin's war in Ukraine?

A group of St Albans friends have launched a new campaign aimed at showing solidarity with the beleaguered Ukrainians and hit their Russian oppressors where it hurts - in their pockets.

Residents are being encouraged to turn off their gas supply twice a week for 24 hours, starting from Tuesday March 1, and turn the heating off 30 minutes before the children go to sleep on a daily basis.

This will allow the EU energy grid to reduce reliance on gas from Russia, which will have a major economic impact on Putin's war effort.

To compensate, basin wash instead of a shower or bath, eat salads and sandwiches or have a barbecue, use your log burner or gas-free fireplace, wear extra jumpers and socks, and sit together in one room.

Organiser Gee Smedley said: "We have all been shocked by what has happened in Ukrainian over the last few days.   Hearing that financial sanctions will be slow to take effect, we thought about other ways sanctions could happen.

"So in addition to financial sanctions, we want to enable the exclusion of Russia from the valuable energy markets. 
So rather than feel helpless, we can help. By reducing demand for gas, we can allow the energy grid in the EU, UK and other nearby countries to realign where our gas supplies come from and policies can be made to re-route supplies.

"There will be some forward gas contracts in the energy markets that cannot be broken, but we are coming into a mild spring and these are easy measures that will dramatically reduce demand pressures.  Reducing our gas usage by one-third or more is better done as a voluntary action rather than be forced on us by war.

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"If you can turn off your gas for two days or cut daily usage by a third or more, that will have a dramatic effect on demand. All done from the safety of our own homes."

They are asking residents to share the campaign on social media and get the message out.