UK October gas consumption at 12-year low

UK October gas consumption fell to its lowest for the month since at least 2010, with industrial demand sinking to a 12-year monthly low, as high gas prices and mild weather reduced consumption.

Industrial demand averaged 4.2mn m³/d in October, the lowest for any month on record since October 2010 and down from a previous record low of 4.4mn m³/d in February. Consumption from the sector has fallen sharply over the past year and a half as high prices have led to considerable demand displacement (see industrial graph).

Local Distribution Zone Demand

And UK local distribution zone (LDZ) demand — which includes residential demand and most commercial and industrial consumption, according to the operator — was 84.9mn m³/d in October. This was the lowest for the month since at least 2010 and down from 103.8mn m³/d in 2014, the previous lowest October consumption had fallen to since 2010 (see LDZ graph).

Mild Temperatures

National Grid’s composite weather variable (CWV), which takes into account temperature and wind speed to produce an effective temperature, registered an average temperature of 12.2°C on 1-30 October — the latest available data — while LDZ consumption was 84.6mn m³/d over the period.

The CWV was up from an average of 11.2°C on 1-30 October in 2015-2021, suggesting that temperatures were above the norm over much of October.

But had LDZ demand been as responsive to the CWV as over the past seven years, consumption would have been expected to rise to 109mn m³/d over the period. This suggests that households and small businesses are hesitant to switch on heating and are consuming less than in previous years, relative to the temperature.

Gas Burn for Power

And power sector gas demand also remained slightly below the seven-year average in October, despite rising to its highest for the month since 2019 (see power sector gas demand chart). Strong wind generation reduced power sector gas consumption on days in October with the UK reaching an all-time wind generation record on 26 October.

For a more detailed market analysis and advice on how to navigate your energy purchasing in the current climate please feel free to e-mail