Frozen Britain May Run Short Of Gas

(Telegraph) – THE FREEZING WEATHER has raised fears that Britain could run short of gas after the National Grid issued only its second warning in 30 years over surging consumption.

Demand for gas – the fuel used to heat about two thirds of Britain’s homes – has risen to about 30 per cent above seasonal norms with Britain in the grip of one of its coldest winters for 100 years.

While it is unlikely that households will find their supplies restricted, a shortage could lead to higher bills.

The National Grid, responsible for meeting the country’s energy requirements issued a gas balancing alert yesterday to give warning that any further falls in supply could force big users like power plants to cut their consumption.

Extra gas supplies were rushed out to the liquefied natural gas importation terminal in Kent through pipelines in Belgium and Norway following the alert.

The National Grid said the risk of shortages had been temporarily averted by the influx. “Supplies of gas to the UK have increased following the issuing of a gas balancing alert today,” a spokesman said.

Unusually cold weather is set to continue over the next two weeks, and the National Grid has not ruled out sending out further supply warnings.

In the event of a serious shortage, big industrial consumers are expected to bear the brunt of gas consumption cuts to shield residential users who rely on the fuel to keep warm.

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