Brits are bracing for a cold winter as petrol prices hit their highest level in eight years and UK natural gas prices hit record highs.
There have been concerns that families in the UK could be forced to “eat or heat” this winter.
Gas prices for November delivery have rocketed, surpassing £3 a therm for the first time as prices have tripled in the past couple of months. UK day ahead gas prices jumped to £2.52 a therm.
What’s more, the price of a litre of petrol reached at 136.1p, the highest level since September 2013, while diesel costs have also risen to 139.2p.
Military personnel have been drafted to help fuel deliveries, against a backdrop of HGV drivers to stock up petrol stations.
A survey by the Petrol Retailers Association found that 64 per cent of service stations in London and the South East now have both petrol and diesel available. But 21 per cent had only one type and 15 per cent were dry, thanks to panic buying and driver shortages.
Suppliers including Shell, BP and Esso said they were confident demand would return to its usual levels “in the coming days.
“There is plenty of fuel at UK refineries and terminals, and as an industry we are working closely with the Government to help ensure fuel is available to be delivered to stations across the country,” they said in a joint statement.
Gas stockpiles in Europe are lower than usual at the moment, with domestic production having dropped dramatically this year. Europe’s biggest provider
Russia has limited top-up supplies while demand in Asia has also diverted a large volume of the supply from the UK.
Elsewhere, there have been warnings that food prices could rise and supermarket shoppers may have to get used to seeing empty shelves.
Karan Bilimoria, the CBI’s president, said: “The recovery is in a very fragile state “The nightmare scenario is a ‘winter of discontent’.
“The basics not being available is what we’ve got to try and prevent.”