The recent swathe of storms from the east has caused the price of gas to rocket. A prolonged and particularly cold winter has seen the demand for gas rise to its highest levels in more than six years as homeowners and businesses seek to tackle the icy-cold temperatures. With the most recent wintry storm hitting in mid-March, analysts expect demand to soar to levels not seen since 2012.

This rising demand has already seen prices on the market rise by more than 30 per cent to the highest levels on record since early 2013. Just before Christmas, the energy market was shaken by a series of disruptions to the gas supply that saw prices escalate to four-year highs at 70p per therm; however, early analysis from the market information provider ICIS suggests that the recent ‘Beast from the East’ has lifted prices again to more than 91p/th.

Electricity markets have also felt the impact, with prices jumping to £62.5MWh from a typical average of £51.45MWh. The news is likely to spark fears of pressure on household bills and potential damage to the competitive position of smaller energy providers.

Energy traders have raced to buy sufficient gas to meet domestic heating needs after the UK’s biggest gas storage plant closed last year. Gas is now being drawn from LNG tanker import terminals at locations such as the Isle of Grain and Dragon LNG at Milford Haven; however, if these reserves are depleted, the UK’s homes will need to be heated by Russian imports.

Small businesses are looking at ways to make their offices more energy efficient when the weather turns bad. By installing measures such as energy-efficient windows and better insulation, heating bills can be reduced and staff and premises protected when the weather turns bad.

Investment costs money, however, and not all businesses have funds they can draw down when they want to invest – especially without risking the liquidity of a growing operation. This is where Century Business Finance steps in. We offer loans for all business purposes at attractive terms. Businesses can borrow from £25k to £500k for unsecured loans and from £20k to £1m for secured lending. Secured loans are also 100 per cent tax deductible, making this a tax-efficient way to fund your business growth and improvements.

Interest rates start from just 4.8 per cent and terms are flexible at six months to five years. Even better, there are no upfront costs or hidden fees, including no early repayment charges. You simply pay less interest overall if you want to repay your loan early.

Our application process takes just a few minutes online and we make an immediate lending decision so that the funds can be in your business bank account the following day. We also accept nine out of 10 customers, making us one of the most generous lenders on the market.

Apply online today for an immediate decision or contact our friendly team to find out more and to discuss your individual situation.