June 23, 2024
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EU to continue voluntary gas demand reduction measures

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European Council has reached a political agreement on a recommendation to continue coordinated demand reduction. Although the security of supply in the EU has improved, continued demand reduction is still needed to secure sufficient gas storage for next winter.

The supply situation in the EU has significantly improved since 2022. This has been made possible thanks to, inter alia, gas demand reduction measures that member states took based on the gas demand reduction regulation.

The latter was adopted as an emergency instrument in 2022, in response to the energy crisis caused by Russia’s war of aggression. In March 2023, it was prolonged until the end of March 2024, to ensure continuity of supply security and contain price volatility.

Despite the overall improvement of the supply situation, however, according to the latest Commission’s reports, the situation in the global gas markets remains tight.

Therefore, as the demand reduction regulation is about to expire, member states want to remain prepared for any possible gas disruption. To achieve that, EU collective storage must remain at a sufficiently high level throughout the winter.

Extended period for voluntary demand reduction

Thanks to the political agreement achieved today in the Council, member states are encouraged to continue reducing their gas consumption until 31 March 2025, by at least 15 % compared to their average gas consumption in the period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022.

This recommendation will help member states to take adequate supply security measures until the transposition of the directives on energy efficiency and renewables in 2025, which will both bring structural demand reduction shortly while achieving the EU’s decarbonisation goals.

The recommendation acknowledges specific circumstances, such as desynchronisation, isolated systems and limited interconnection capacity.

It also recommends maintaining other existing measures under the demand reduction regulation, such as monitoring and reporting the gas demand reduction per sector and informing the Commission in case new measures are adopted.

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