Asked by: Anonymous
Millions of households do put the kettle on simultaneously during ad breaks in popular TV programmes. The electricity grid can anticipate such surges and has extra capacity from sources such as hydro, on demand. If all UK homes just happened to put the kettle on unexpectedly, the grid would probably cope. The events most likely to threaten supply are when one or more power stations suddenly fail, as in May 2008, when large areas of the UK suffered unprecedented power cuts.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.