Gas could be diverted from factories to heat homes and hospitals in severe winter shortages – .

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Gas could be diverted from factories to heat homes and hospitals in severe winter shortages – .


Gas could be diverted from factories to heat homes and hospitals in the event of a severe shortage this winter, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Government officials and energy industry bosses are reviewing contingency plans as gas prices soar.

Britain depends on a constant supply of gas and only has enough storage capacity to meet demand for four or five winter days.

Suppliers and officials have asked factories for their energy consumption and contact details in the event that an emergency “gas balancing” notification is issued.

Such an alert, formerly known as a gas deficit warning, has not been issued since the ‘Beast from the East’ swept through frigid conditions across Britain in 2018.

Government officials and energy industry bosses review contingency plans as gas prices skyrocket

It is understood that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is working with National Grid and gas grid operators to review Britain’s gas demands.

Gas prices have skyrocketed as imports from Russia to Europe fell sharply, leading to the bankruptcy of several energy suppliers and putting Britain’s lack of gas storage in the spotlight.

If the “gas balancing” alert is issued by National Grid, it will trigger three key responses.

First, the amount of gas in the system would be increased.

Second, large commercial gas consumers such as steel mills may be asked to stop using the gas system.

Third, the government and suppliers could appeal to the public to reduce or stop their gas consumption, or even shut down sections of the network. It would effectively cut off small businesses and homes.

Industry sources said government officials reassured them they were “confident” there would be no disruption in supplies this winter.

Britain’s biggest consumers of energy are steel, chemical and ceramic factories.

Boris Johnson is set to sign hundreds of millions of pounds in state-guaranteed loans for energy-hungry businesses, such as steel and glass factories struggling to keep up with soaring energy costs

Boris Johnson is expected to sign hundreds of millions of pounds in state-guaranteed loans for energy-hungry businesses, such as steel and glass factories struggling to keep up with soaring energy costs.

National Grid also issues “margin notices” to grid operators if demand exceeds supply for the next day.

A spokesperson for National Grid said, “We have a range of tools available to manage all operational requirements during the winter.

“This may include issuing margin notices to encourage market participants to take action in the event of an imbalance between supply and demand forecast for the next gas day. “

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