16:26 / 20.07.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

European Commission unveils plan to reduce natural gas use

Natural gas

Natural gas

Foto: Luka Stanzl / Pixsell

Fearing that Russia might cut its gas supplies to Europe, the European Commission on Wednesday unveiled its plan to cut gas consumption in EU countries by 15 percent.

The plan, titled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, offers a set of suggestions to reduce the dependence on Russian gas, to be implemented in the period from August through till March next year.

"The European Union faces the risk of further gas supply cuts from Russia, due to the Kremlin's weaponization of gas exports, with almost half of EU countries already affected by reduced deliveries," the European Commission said.

"Taking action now can reduce both the risk and the costs for Europe in case of further or full disruption, strengthening European energy resilience… All consumers, public administrations, households, owners of public buildings, power suppliers, and industry can and should take measures to save gas," they added.

The plan proposes new regulation which would set a target for all member states to reduce gas demand by 15 percent over the next eight months.

The new regulation would also give the European Commission the ability to declare a union-wide alert in case the security of supply is threatened, which would then impose mandatory cuts for all EU countries.

"The Union Alert can be triggered when there is a substantial risk of a severe gas shortage or an exceptionally high gas demand," the European Commission explained.

The Commission urged all member countries to launch public campaigns to encourage the public to reduce energy used for heating and cooling on a broad scale. In addition, EU governments could mandate a targeted lowering of heating and cooling in buildings operated by public authorities.

Croatia's Ministry of Economy and Sustainable development announced earlier this week that the country had sufficient natural gas to satisfy domestic demand throughout the winter.

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