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EU Gas Consumption Reduction Target Achieved for the Second Time

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The second period, where EU member states were mandated to cut their gas consumption by 15% compared to the average of the previous five years, concluded by the end of March. Similar to last year, Hungary reduced its consumption by a fifth this year, surpassing the mandatory limit, reports Világgazdaság.

The European Union introduced a 15% mandatory savings requirement for the first time from August 2022 until the end of March 2023 due to the international energy crisis caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war, as stated by the Ministry for Energy. Member states collectively reduced their gas consumption by an average of 17.7%.

Hungary outperformed by cutting its consumption by around 20%.

The community target was 8.79 billion cubic meters (bcm), compared to the baseline of 10.34 bcm. The actual figures were again more favorable, with just over 8 bcm of gas used between April 2023 and March 2024, representing another 20% reduction.

The previously mandatory provision will now transition into a recommendation from April 2024 onward. Hungary maintains that the definition of the energy mix should remain a national competence, and it will no longer support contrary proposals.

Nevertheless, Hungary has consistently surpassed the required level of energy efficiency in two consecutive periods.

Lower consumption not only enhances security of supply but also protects the environment and strengthens energy sovereignty by mitigating external vulnerabilities. Last year, gas consumption was only 8.5 billion cubic meters, 23% less than the 11 billion cubic meters in 2021. Although energy demand from businesses may rise as the economy rebounds, the majority of the achieved savings are likely to be sustained in the longer term.

The government has implemented various measures to encourage responsible energy use. The Solar Energy Plus Program, launched in February, assists families in producing and storing green energy. Installation of modern solar systems, subsidized by up to HUF 5M (EUR 12.6K), will permanently reduce household electricity bills. Additionally, the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme (EEO) has facilitated the implementation of nearly 4,400 certified measures, leading to total energy savings exceeding 6 petajoules.

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Via vg.hu, MTI; Featured Image: Pixabay



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