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How long will the energy crisis last? Expert reveals high price YOU'LL pay for shortage

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The energy crisis unfolding across the UK has already sent several providers under, and the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better this winter. Brits are facing higher costs to heat their homes and businesses may struggle to pay for the higher costs of running businesses in what is expected to be a difficult winter for the UK.

Wholesale gas prices have soared more than 900 percent in the last year, with benchmark costs on Wednesday hitting highs of 407p a therm.

Pure Planet and Colorado Energy, which both supply 235,000 and 15,000 customers respectively, were the latest to collapse on Wednesday this week.

In total, about a dozen UK suppliers have gone bustas customers are forecast to see well over £100 added to bills. And the situation is expected to get worse.

Frank Wessely, insolvency and restructuring expert and managing director at business advisory firm Quantuma, said there are a number of factors that will have a bearing on how high prices will go – and how long they will be raised for.

READ MORE: Energy crisis: Damning graph shows bills set to rise by 60 percent

He told Express.co.uk “The Government is hoping that we will be in for a milder than normal winter, in which case the reduced consumer demand for energy would lower levels of gas consumption.

“If demand is high then we could be in for sustained higher prices, given that the UK is a big importer of gas, and our storage facilities are much less than many other European countries.

“This makes us more prone to price fluctuations. While Russia is not a major supplier to the UK, there are concerns that supplies are being restricted to the UK and the EU although this is being denied in Moscow.

“With energy futures prices on the increase the clear expectation is that volatility and higher prices will last well into 2022.”

The Government is reportedly placing its hopes on winter 2021/2022 being a mild enough one for the UK to manage – but naturally, it is difficult to predict if this will actually be the case.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng shared a weather briefing from the Met Office with energy bosses which said that “for the late winter period from January to February 2022, the most likely scenario is for an unsettled period of wet, windy and mild spells.”

But a Met Office spokesperson said: “It’s not a forecast. It’s used by people who understand risk. Accuracy declines the further out you go.

“The whole area of long-range forecasting is pretty experimental as far as any meteorological organisation is concerned.”

And should the UK see a cold winter, demand will quickly outstrip supply, with experts warning we have enough gas for just four to five wintry days.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of chemicals firm Ineos, said the UK energy shortage was “pathetic”.

Asked whether Britain could potentially run out of gas in the coming months, he added: “Yeah, in which case, what you would do is you would shut down industry.

“Economically, we’re in a bad place as it is after Covid so you don’t really need to be shutting industry down, and that’s not great for British industry if we’re telling all our customers we can’t supply them.”



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