Energy demand will surge by around 1,300MW at half time in the England v Uruguay World Cup match, National Grid predicts. That is equivalent to the capacity of a large gas-fired power station.

Grid forecasters expect the game, at 8pm on 19 June, to cause the biggest demand surge of the group stage, as viewers switch on kettles and lights when play finishes.

The system operator found in a survey 56 per cent of viewers plan to watch England v Uruguay at home. That, combined with the timing of the match as darkness falls, is expected to create significant pickups in demand at half time and full time.

The next largest surges are expected during England v Costa Rica (1,200MW), England v Italy (900MW) and Spain v Netherlands (500MW). Tonight’s opening match, between Brazil and Croatia, is expected to create a 400MW pickup.

John Young, energy forecasting analyst at 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 55% 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 half a million 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 further in the tournament.”

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