UK gas supply at three year low - backup supply shipped in from Qatar
Britain's gas supply is running dangerously low according to new reports.
After an exceptionally chilly March, the country may now have to rely on supplies from Norway and Russia and an emergency supply from Qatar has already been brought in - with more on the way.
The warning comes at the same time as SSE chief executive, Ian Marchant, warned of the possibility of UK lights going out due to the government seriously underestimating the "capacity crunch" currently facing the country.
Mr Marchant warned: "The government is significantly underestimating the scale of the capacity crunch facing the UK in the next three years and there is a very real risk of the lights going out as a result."
More immediately pressing however, is the gas supplies remaining in the country, with figures suggesting that gas stores were at the lowest level they have been for three years. In fact, the gas supplies have dropped to such a low level, shipments from Qatar are now pencilled in at various stages across the week.
The cold weather in March has led to households across the country using their heating much more than usual and analysts had initially warned the shortfall in gas could result in energy bills rocketing up by 15% or around Â£200 in the long-term as a result. However, energy prices have since fallen again alleviating fears for now, although questions on Britain's reliance on importedÂ gas remain.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "Protracted cold weather increases demand but the UK gas market is responsive and our gas needs are continuing to be met.
"Gas storage would never be the sole source of gas meeting our needs, so it is misleading to talk purely about how many days' supply is in storage."
The government has launched a number of schemes in order to combat carbon emissions and boost energy efficiency in UK homes, one of which is the Green Deal.
As part of the scheme, customers can seek help from their energy providers to help improve energy efficiency in their home through measures including the fitting of more efficient boilers, solar panels or even loft and wall insulation.
Latest gas and electricity news brought to you by UK Power - the energy price comparison site.
Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.