The European Commission (EC), together with the International Energy Agency (IEA), urges people to reduce their dependence on harsh Russian fossil fuels and asks people to drive less, work from home at least three days a week and use public transport more often. It is said that under the proposals this would save the average household just over €450 a year, leaving billions of cubic meters of gas in gas storage that Europe will need next winter.
With the war in Ukraine for more than a month and the recent sharp rise in energy prices and inflation in Europe, the EC and IEA last week launched a 9-point plan for the people do his part.
He allegedly slaughtered several rabbits with one shot – “saving more money for the population, reducing Russia’s dependence on energy and helping both Ukraine and the planet”.
According to the TEA, the first point concerns the heating of the accommodation and the use of air conditioning. It is said that at least one degree of heating in the house could save residents significant sums of money, and not using an air conditioner would lead to lower electricity costs.
The second point emphasizes the importance of boilers for water heating. It is stated that by setting the appropriate parameters for the boiler to work efficiently, it is possible to save 100 euros every year.
Work from home at least three days a week – this is also the offer for residents. The IEA explained that more than a third of work in the EU can be done from home, which would mean a reduction in fuel consumption. In one month, that would be about 35 euros more on the account of the population.
If you already have to get to work – among the offers – and more economical use of cars. It is said that it would be possible to travel to work with colleagues or friends, which would also save money.
In order to spend less money on fuel, it is suggested to drive more slowly, not to use air conditioning. It is estimated that if you drive at least 10 km/h. at a lower speed, it will save 60 euros per year.
In larger cities, residents are also being encouraged not to use the car on Sundays, to take more walks, bike rides, take public transport and take the train instead of the plane.
If all EU citizens followed the recommendations below, it would save €220 million per year. barrels of oil, enough to fill 120 supertankers.
“It would also save about 17 billion cubic meters of gas, which would be enough to heat nearly 20 million houses,” added Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director.
Ditte Juul Jørgensen, director general of the EC’s energy directorate, said energy efficiency could be a key policy initiative to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian imports and meet the challenges of the energy market, both through short-term energy savings and long-term energy efficiency measures. .
Luxembourg’s energy minister, Cloude Turmes, also warned of the coming winter.
“If we want to fill our gas storage facilities next winter, every cubic meter of gas saved now will help,” he told foreign media.
It would bite the Russian economy
Economist Alexander Izgorodin said in his assessment of the proposed measures that he believed it would really hurt the Russian economy, but that more serious measures were needed to have a bigger effect.
“I think it would hurt the Russian economy, because it would reduce the need for Russian oil and gas, but if the goal is to stop hostilities in Ukraine, he must take severe sanctions and hit the sectors of the economy and exports that bring the most money to Russia are oil and gas, which generates about 45 percent of all Russian exports.
“I think that if the population reduces their mobility and takes the other measures that have been indicated, it will limit the imports of gas and oil to Russia a little, but it will not be a blow to its economy,” said the Economist.
According to him, severe sanctions should be imposed and finally an embargo on gas and oil should be announced.
“Because the current economic sanctions do not appear to be sufficient to stop the country, hostilities continue. Therefore, consideration should be given to tougher measures, in particular sanctions on Russian oil and gas,” he said. he declared.
An oil embargo is not the solution
Sigismund Mauricas, an economist at Luminor Bank, said earlier that residents could voluntarily help reduce demand for oil.
“Oil prices can be reduced now by increasing supply or reducing demand. People need to think about it. 90 percent. Russia’s exports are energy raw materials, 10 percent – products, so don’t giving up only the latter will have little effect.
I believe that people should reduce their consumption of petroleum products on a voluntary basis. And how can you do that? It is possible to reduce the number of unnecessary journeys, to drive more ecologically, to seek other transport alternatives, electric cars,” he said.
As he said, if oil demand fell by at least 15%, prices would fall and the market would clear.
“It would be a huge loss for Russia,” he said.
According to the economist, an oil embargo in this case would not help much to reduce Russia’s cash flow.
“A gas embargo would be more useful, because an oil embargo would make it difficult to achieve such negative effects. Its introduction could increase oil prices, which means that if Russia’s exports fell by at least half and prices doubled, the same thing would disappear. There would be no impact,” he said.
The editorial staff recalls that some EU countries have lobbied for the EU to impose sanctions on Russia regarding gas and oil. This was widely opposed by Germany, which depends on Russian energy resources.
Germany’s foreign minister recently announced that the country is ready to stop importing Russian oil by the end of this year.
Source: The Delfi