National Grid is seeking to rename the alert it issues to warn of possible supply shortages, claiming that calling it a “gas deficit warning” is inaccurate and can fuel panic. The utility company, which ensures that Britain’s gas supply and demand are in balance, issued the warning during the Beast from the East cold spell last year after a “series of significant supply losses resulting in a forecast end-of-day supply deficit”. The alert to the gas market, designed to inform traders that they needed “to provide more gas or reduce demand”, sent prices soaring and ultimately had the desired effect by securing enough gas to meet demand, which was unusually high in the freezing weather. However, in a submission to an industry panel, National Grid has complained that the warning “does not adequately reflect the purpose of the message and was, unhelpfully, taken out of context by some market observers”. It said that reporting of the warning “fuelled a sense of panic in the market that was unwarranted, potentially resulting in higher within-day gas prices”.
Times 29th April 2019 read more »