UK gas prices rise with colder weather

Article posted

10th Jan 2024

Read time

2-4 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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As the temperature drops in the UK, a double whammy of surging demand and flagging renewable energy is driving gas prices higher, squeezing budgets, and casting a shadow over economic recovery.

Lower temperatures have sent heating needs skyrocketing, pushing up business and households’ demand for gas. With people cranking up thermostats and businesses firing up boilers, the strain on the national grid is becoming more noticeable.

Why are gas prices still so volatile?

This increased demand, coinciding with a dip in wind power generation due to calmer weather, has created a perfect storm for rising gas costs.

Wind farms, a key source of clean energy in the UK, have fallen short of their usual output. The recent lack of strong winds has resulted in a decline in wind power production, leaving a significant gap in the energy mix that needs to be plugged by fossil fuels. As a result, gas-fired power stations are being called upon to shoulder the burden, pushing up the wholesale price of gas and consequently, consumer bills.

Another factor that leaves the UK’s market vulnerable to weather conditions is the lack of security. When we have a quick increase in demand that renewables cannot meet we are stuck relying on expensive foreign gas imports. If this continues over a long period of time it will soon push up consumer prices.


What can be done to reduce gas prices?

The reliance on both gas and faltering wind power highlights the need for continued investments in diverse, reliable energy sources. Experts call for increased focus on energy efficiency measures, alongside accelerated development of renewable energy infrastructure, particularly those less reliant on specific weather conditions, like solar power.

As the winter chill lingers, so do the anxieties around gas prices. While the government seeks to reassure citizens and businesses with promises of support, the current situation underscores the urgent need for a multi-pronged approach to secure a stable and affordable energy future for the UK. Building resilience against weather fluctuations, diversifying energy sources, and promoting energy efficiency are crucial steps to ensure that a cold snap doesn't turn into a full-blown energy crisis.

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