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British businesses and households could soon see their gas bills soar again!

The nuclear crisis in Japan following the earthquake last Friday has sent natural gas prices to their highest level in more than two years, according to energy experts. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami has caused explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, one of the largest power plants in the world, stopping production. Japan is now looking for alternative energy supplies, as the country is expected to be left with gas shortages.

Andrew Horstead (Utililyx energy risk expert) has highlighted the impact of the Japanese crisis on global commodity prices. “Japan is the world’s largest importer of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), accounting for around 40% of global demand, and the potential for a sustained increased LNG demand for Japan’s power generation could divert supply away from the UK lifting prices. This will drive UK power prices up given the dominance of gas in the UK generation mix”.

It is now feared that the imported gas that Britain relies on may be diverted to Japan, pushing the price of natural gas up to 64p a therm – a 7% increase since Friday. Natural gas is now the highest it’s been since October 2008. Last month it was 57.8p per therm

Speaking to the Guardian Adam Forsyth, analyst at Matrix Group, said: “If the price rises and is consistently at a high level then it has to come through to people’s gas bills eventually.”