National Grid has warned that the UK might not have enough gas to meet demand, as temperatures have plummeted due to Storm Emma.
As reported by The Independent, the operator of the UK’s power network issued the ‘gas deficit warning’ at 5am this morning as supply slipped 48 million cubic metres short of demand.
It’s unlikely that the situation will affect supply to households, but if enough extra gas supplies by pipeline or ship are not delivered then it could seriously affect industrial users.
In a statement, National Grid said: “National gas demand today is high and due to the extreme weather conditions, there have been gas supply losses overnight. This morning we issued a ‘Gas Deficit Warning’ to the market.
“This is an indication to the market that we’d like more gas to be made available to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the national gas network. We are in communication with industry partners and are closely monitoring the situation.”
The operator has asked industrial customers to use less gas in a bid to shore up the supply.
Wholesale gas prices increased by a massive 74% to 200p per therm after the formal warning from National Grid, although prices have now fallen back to 170p.
The news comes as heavy snowfall has engulfed the UK as Storm Emma continues to sweep the country, with temperatures dropping to -6C overnight and expected to fall to as low as -11C as the wind picks up during the day.
Red weather alerts – meaning there is a risk to life – have been issued in south-west England and South Wales, while schools around the country remain closed due to the blizzard-like conditions.