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Published on December 22, 2021

Highest Gas Prices On Record Are Threatening The Livelihoods Of British Businesses

By visibull

It’s no secret that energy provision is currently a serious problem and not one we can ignore when we’re looking at the logistics and costs of heating our business premises. As host to the recent Cop26 global climate conference, the irony isn’t lost that many UK businesses are having to take drastic energy measures in order to keep trading, many of which would revert to more polluting methods than environmentally friendly ones.

Closing their doors may keep the warmth in, but the stark reality is that many companies are working really hard to avoid this as energy prices soar to their highest ever recorded. Businesses and suppliers are rapidly reaching breaking point, and the government is being called to step in to support businesses that are essentially the framework of our nation.

Shutdowns Are Now A Serious Threat To UK Industries

If the government doesn’t take emergency action, energy-guzzling industries such as steel, fertiliser and chemicals will be facing a difficult winter. But let’s not see this as ‘their problem’ as the ripple effects will be far-reaching – fertilisers nourish the ground and plants for the food we eat and arable for cattle that feed our nation. Steel supports our construction industry and frames our cars and lorries.

Serious concerns are growing over the inevitable domino effect that high energy prices will have as gas costs for next day delivery reached 350p per therm last month, and gas for November deliveries reached 407p, both of which are new records. Prices dropped temporarily, after Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, indicated that as the largest supplier of Europe’s gas, Russia would help to ease the growing crisis.

‘Dirty Energy’ Options Now Being A Real Consideration Again

But that’s only a temporary measure. When you’re looking at heating your church or premises all year round, you want to know it’s a sustainable solution with longevity built into it. The current energy crisis highlights how you need to explore the knock-on effects of your business decisions.

Power-hungry firms that usually rely on gas which is currently spiralling its way out of their realistic options are now having to look at all of their energy provision solutions. The chief executive of Singleton Birch, the lime manufacturer, said the higher production costs are unavoidably being passed on to consumers, including water companies and businesses that use the lime in large quantities to turn their company waste into useful energy.

“We could get into a ridiculous situation where it’s cheaper to put waste into landfill than to put it into waste-to-energy plants – there are all sorts of knock-on effects”. The federation coordinator at British Glass, the trade body, has said that window making companies needing to power their furnaces, could be forced to revert to using polluting fuels that had previously been abandoned.

“Some of our members still have heavy fuel oil on-site, having moved over to gas,” he said. “Some of them are seriously considering moving back to that because of the price of gas. The gas price spikes have already impacted many British businesses, forcing fertiliser plants to shut down and closing 14 energy suppliers down to date.

How Can The Government Support British Businesses?

The government could potentially be providing loans worth hundreds of millions of pounds, with proposals currently being considered by the Treasury. Firms relying heavily on energy such as steel, ceramics or paper producers are being represented in meetings with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to implement “practical and sensible” measures which wouldn’t burden the UK taxpayers.

But even that isn’t a sustainable solution, because the problems fuelling the crisis haven’t gone away. The worldwide squeeze on the supplies of gas is still very much there:
The cold winter that Europe experienced last year added pressure to the energy supply chain resulting in much lower stored gas levels than normal.
Asia – particularly China – has increased its demand for liquefied natural gas.
Wholesale gas prices have been pushed up, rising 250% since January.

Changing energy suppliers has always been the first port of call to shop around for cheaper energy provision, but that is being advised against heavily, with energy suppliers already under pressure, and many closing their own doors.

How Can I Warm My Business Premises Sustainably?

In the wake of the energy crisis, your prime goal is to keep your congregation warm. There’s forever been a joke about churches being cold, but preserving your sacred building, and your precious flock is currently no laughing matter.

Businesses are able to pass on some of the increased costs to their paying customers, but unless you want the offering plate to be circulated multiple times during your sermons, that isn’t an option for you.

Instead of hunting for cheaper deals, householders and businesses are being encouraged to invest in improving the energy efficiency of their premises. With roughly 1.7 million customers being affected, the Energy Saving Trust suggests that looking at how we use our buildings and improving our habits could be the answer to offsetting the growing price rises.


The energy usage is at the core of many heating systems – use a wet central heating system and you have a boiler heating the water in advance. The problem here is that you are usually heating a vast space, so warming that to temperate heat takes a while which can be costly. You also need to preserve your building as well as the people within it so you can’t afford to create drastic temperature changes too often or you’re dealing with condensation, and then damp issues too.

They are costly to install, and then the gas provision means you are obliged to have regular servicing of the system for safety compliance, which all mounts up when added to the significant cost of running and maintaining a church. Traditional electricity based heating is renowned for being costly – electric storage heaters are expensive to run, and the ‘convected’ warmth from the air that they heat simply rises and heats the roof, not the people in the pews.

ChurchEcomiser uses discrete radiators throughout your building to warm the fabric of the building in a way that then heats the space within it. Using the radiant heat of the building rather than the convected heat of a traditional radiator literally warms the heart of the building.

ChurchEcomiser is always a bespoke system, built specifically for your church in a way that will maximise efficiency and minimise long term costs. This way you’ll cut your carbon footprint, reduce your costs, and warm your flock so they don’t need to bring their own fleeces! Get in touch if you’d love to know more about how you can warm your church in a manner that is sustainable to both your coffers and the environment.

Find out more about our Church Heating Systems.