Conservative MP and host clash over deadline to ban gas boilers

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The global energy crunch has already left its mark on the UK, forcing a total of 14 energy suppliers to go bust in the last two months alone. Coming out of the Covid pandemic, the world has experienced a thirst for energy, which has not been helped by Russia’s reported choking of supplies as it awaits approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In the UK, gas prices surged by more than 250 percent since January, leaving millions of customers to face the possibility of higher bills this winter.

It is estimated more than 80 percent of British households are heated by gas, either by central heating or fixed gas heaters.

This has led some to warn of a “perfect storm” of winter chaos this year.

Some energy experts are, however, positive there will be enough gas going around to supply the domestic household demand.

Mike Foster, CEO of Energy and Utilities Alliance, believes the system is flexible enough and can be managed in a way to avoid a crisis.

He told Express.co.uk: “There will be enough gas for domestic users.

“One of the benefits of our current gas network, because it’s grown up over time and 85 percent of UK homes are currently connected to the gas network and use it for their gas boilers and keeping warm, there is sufficient flexibility in the system to meet those peak demands.

“So if you have a very cold period, you can meet the gas demand by in effect varying the pressures in the pipework.

“That’s the beauty of the flexibility of gas.

“In the gas industry they refer to it as ‘linepacking’ and it just gives that little bit of flexibility in terms of being able to put the gas in and then you sort of drip it out at lower pressures closer to the home.”

Expert accuses Russia of blackmailing Europe over gas trade

Some in the EU have accused Mr Putin of “weaponising” gas at a time when they need it most.

Latest estimates say “around 40 percent” of the EU’s natural gas imports come from Russia.

In comparison, the UK imports around three percent.

Mr Foster’s predictions were backed by National Grid’s winter gas outlook report, published earlier this month.

According to the report, UK demand is expected to reach between 49.4 and 50.5 billion cubic metres (bcm), which is lower than the past five winters.

National Grid predicts the UK will meet this demand by securing about 60.9 bcm of gas this winter through pipeline gas, imports and domestic production.

Ian Radley, director of gas system operations, said: “We have a positive gas supply margin in all of our supply and demand scenarios, and there is a positive storage position as we enter the winter.”

The UK is also looking to transition away from gas and other fossil fuels in the fight against climate change, and that means gas boilers are being gradually phased out.

Gas boilers presently account for about 15 percent of the UK’s greenhouse emissions – the leading cause of climate change.

On Wednesday, ministers unveiled a £3.9billion plan to turn Britain’s homes into greener, more energy-efficient households.

The Heat and Buildings Strategy forms part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s push for net zero and will help subsidize low-carbon heating options like heat pumps.

As part of the scheme, the Government is looking to offer some 90,000 households grants up to £5,000 to install heat pumps – a total of £450million.

Unlike traditional gas boilers, heat pumps are an environmentally friendly alternative that will help the UK slash its carbon emissions.

Mr Foster, however, was unimpressed with the proposals and thinks the Government is not going far enough with its measures.

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