The European Union provides 15 percent. Gas consumption cuts across the bloc, passed in an attempt to address an energy price crisis exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, will take effect from Tuesday.
The EU regulation setting out the plan, approved by the bloc of 27 two weeks ago, was published in the Official Journal of the Community on Monday. He expects the implementation of the plan to start from Tuesday.
“In view of the imminent threat to the security of gas supplies posed by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, this regulation should enter into force as a matter of urgency,” the document said.
The EU will seek to boost its gas reserves ahead of what is expected to be a very harsh winter. European households and businesses are under severe pressure from rapidly rising energy prices, as gas supplies from Russia, on which several Community members are heavily dependent, have been cut.
The regulation states that EU countries “shall make every effort” to reduce their gas consumption “by at least 15%” between August 1 and March 31 of the following year compared to their average consumption of gas during this period over the past five years.
However, some EU member states have won reservations so they don’t have to strictly follow the rule, which is labeled a “voluntary demand reduction” anyway.
These countries are not fully connected to electricity grids or gas pipelines in other parts of the EU, or cannot allocate enough gas per pipeline to support other countries in the Community.
Hungary, which depends on gas delivered by pipeline directly from Russia, has requested an exemption.
Germany, the largest economy in the bloc, received the largest share at 40%. – all Russian gas imported by the European Union in the past year.
If the European Commission identifies a “high risk of an extraordinary shortage of gas supply” or when “exceptionally high gas demand occurs”, it can ask EU countries to declare a community-wide risk. In this case, reducing gas consumption would become mandatory and reservations would be restricted.
The European Union is not imposing sanctions on Russian gas exports because of Moscow’s war in Ukraine, but the Kremlin has drastically cut supplies in what Brussels sees as an attempt to pressure the bloc.
Source: The Delfi