With demand for gas rising sharply, Britain’s gas reserves are running low, meaning the country is more reliant on imported gas bought on the international market. Imported energy is more expensive, and rising demand across Europe this week caused natural gas prices to jump to their highest level in 10 months. That triggered warnings from energy analysts that power companies may use the cold snap as justification for another increase in domestic bills. Tom Foulkes, director general of the Institution of Civil Engineers said: ‘To avoid energy crises and price hikes in the future the UK energy sector must urgently build extra gas storage capacity into the network. We simply cannot continue to rely on unpredictable overseas supplies’.