UK gas prices rise to highest level since February

UK wholesale gas prices have risen again and are now at their highest level since mid-February.

Prices rose to nearly 135 pence a therm (a unit of heat used to measure gas) on Friday afternoon.

It comes after gas costs hit a six-month high of nearly 123p a therm on Tuesday afternoon – a level not seen since early April.

Higher gas prices can bring up household bills as electricity costs are linked to wholesale gas prices.

The UK is braced for increased demand for gas with temperatures to nosedive this weekend, while the Israel-Hamas war has led to the closure of a gas field off the coast of Israel.

The Tamar natural gas field was closed at the request of Israel’s energy department and has resulted in suspended production from Monday.

The field provides gas to Israel, powering electricity generators, as well as supplying Egypt and Jordan.

There has also been supply disruption after a leak was discovered in the Balticconnector pipeline, which sends gas between Estonia and Finland.

The Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said the damage could have been done deliberately.

There have been further supply concerns due to the threat of strike action by gas workers in Australia.

Gas is used to generate electricity. On Friday afternoon, 10% of British electricity was produced from gas.

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The highest ever UK wholesale gas price was recorded on 26 August 2022, at a cost of 640 pence a therm.

Energy costs, particularly the price of gas, sky rocketed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Western countries have raced to end their use of Russian gas, increasing demand on alternative supplies and pushing prices up.

The most recent high was recorded on 15 February 2023, when UK wholesale gas was 137.25 pence a therm.