Gas is now nearly four times more expensive than it was in January.
Gas prices in the UK have risen to almost four times their value in January.
In January it was 45.8p per therm, according to data from the Institution of Civil Engineers – now it is 181p per therm.
Why have gas prices gone up?
After last year’s severe cold, the effects of gas and energy supply shortages around the world are now visible.
In the UK alone prices have risen by 70% since August.
Conflicts with the national grid – including a major import cable fire that cut off the power supply source – have also increased the country’s reliance on gas power plants.
Gas markets have also paralyzed the carbon dioxide supply chain.
Britain has enough backup gas for four to five days of winter, which will drive up prices – an additional one million British households could be in fuel shortage next year.
Can gas prices stay high?
Fuel prices are expected to remain high for at least the coming months.
Meteorologists have predicted a higher than normal risk of cold weather – meaning gas market prices could remain high until 2023.
US forecaster DTN said February in particular is currently marked for being “the coldest of the three winter months”.
Will the rest of Europe be affected?
The UK’s European neighbors will be affected by similar concerns and weather, but many countries have backup supplies – unlike the UK – that will protect them from market hits.
HSBC analyst Kim Fustier said an exceptionally cold winter could push UK storage levels to “dangerously low levels”.
She added: “The situation in the UK is more precarious than its European neighbours, due to the very limited storage capacity.”