EU confirms gas rationing plan
The bloc has approved a 15% reduction in consumption ahead of winter
The European Council gave final approval on Friday to a plan that would see EU countries reduce their gas consumption by 15% over the coming months.
The measure is aimed at increasing the bloc’s energy security by saving gas for the coming winter in light of possible disruptions of supplies from Russia, says a press release published on the website of the European Council.
Member states agreed to reduce their gas consumption between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 by 15% versus their average level of use over the past five years, says the release. Countries can employ measures of their own choosing to curtail demand.
The Council said it reserved the right to trigger a ‘Union alert’ on gas supply security, in which case the demand reduction would become mandatory.
Some exemptions have been granted to reflect the particular situations of certain member states, such as those that are not interconnected with other member states’ gas networks or electricity grids.
The regulation will now be published in the Official Journal and enter into force the next day, the release adds.
The EU has seen a reduction of gas supplies from Russia via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, and it now fears that Moscow may halt the flow completely.
Russia has repeatedly denied that it harbors such plans, saying that it remains a reliable supplier but that international sanctions are preventing gas from flowing at full capacity.