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Soaring wholesale gas prices have left the UK in an energy crisis, with fears for vulnerable households as bills rise and a wave of energy firms folding. In the 1990s, the UK made a “dash for gas”. In recent years, it has leaned on the fuel to ease the phase out of an even more polluting fossil fuel, coal. That makes the UK heavily reliant on gas for energy, with 86 per cent of homes using it for heating and more than a third of electricity supplies coming from gas power plants. The main reason for the current crisis is a shortage of gas supplies, due in part to outages in production in Norway and elsewhere, and demand from Asia. It is also, to a much lesser degree, due to low output from wind power and a fire last week leaving a UK-France power link offline. Prices and carbon emissions are up, with ageing coal and mothballed gas power stations firing up again. Wholesale gas prices are up 176 per cent since the start of the year, and power prices in the past month are up 266 per cent on the average this year.