Gas prices soared 66 per cent in the week up to 6 March 2022 to record levels at 15.5p per kilowatt hour (kWH), according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is more than double the previous largest weekly increase of 25 per cent recorded in December lat year.
ONS revealed the system average price (SAP) is at its highest level since the data time series began in 2018.
The gloomy figures reflect historically high wholesale prices – which skyrocketed to an eye-watering £8 per therm earlier this month.
Prices have since dropped amid profit taking, but remain historically high at around £4 per therm – which is a ten-fold increase on prices this time last year, which were hovering at around 44p.
There are growing fears of supply shortages and disruption following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the West rolling out heavy sanctions on the country – including the energy sector.
The UK will phase out Russian oil imports this year – while the US has announced it will ban Kremlin-backed oil, gas and coal with immediate effect.
Spiralling energy costs have raised the prospect of the consumer price cap being hiked again this October with bills already set to rise 54 per cent to nearly $2,000 per year from April.
Yesterday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng played down the prospect of a sharp increase in the consumer price cap and said it was too soon to say if energy bills could increase again later this year.
However, analysts from Investec, Goldman Sachs and Cornwall Insight have all predicted a potential further 50 per cent rise in household energy bills, while RMS has forecast that prices could even hit £3,500 per year.
Ofgem boss Jonathan Brearley has also warned another rise in energy bills is “almost inevitable”.
This would intensify the cost of living crisis with households already facing record petrol prices and historic levels of inflation in grocery bills.