The European Commission is therefore proposed today a new legislative tool to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring.
All consumers, public administrations, households, power suppliers and industry should take measures to save gas.
The Commission is proposing a new Council Regulation on Coordinated Demand Reduction Measures for Gas, the new Regulation would set a target to reduce gas demand by 15% between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023.
Member States should update their national emergency plans by the end of September to show how they intend to meet the reduction target, and should report to the Commission on progress every 2 months.
The Commission has also adopted a European Gas Demand Reduction Plan which sets out measures and criteria for coordinated demand reduction.
The Plan focuses on substitution of gas with other fuels, and overall energy savings in all sectors.
By substituting gas with other fuels and saving energy this summer, more gas can be stored for winter.
Where possible, priority should be given to switching to renewables or cleaner, less carbon-intensive or polluting options.
However, switching to coal, oil or nuclear may be necessary as a temporary measure, as long as it avoids long term carbon lock-in.
Another important pillar of energy saving is the reduction of heating and cooling.
The Commission urges all Member States to launch public awareness campaigns to promote the reduction of heating and cooling on a broad scale
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Commission adopted the REPowerEU Plan to end the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible.
REPowerEU sets out measures on diversification of energy suppliers, energy savings and energy efficiency, and an accelerated roll-out of renewable energy.
The EU has also adopted new legislation requiring EU underground gas storage to be filled to 80% of capacity by 1 November 2022 to ensure supply for the coming winter.
The EU is «succeeding in diversifying away from Russian gas imports» thanks to higher LNG and pipeline imports from other suppliers.
In the 1st half of 2022, non-Russian LNG imports rose by 21 billion m3 (bcm) as compared to the same period last year.
Non-Russian pipeline imports also grew by 14 bcm from Norway, Azerbaijan, the UK and North Africa.
Over 20% of the EU's energy currently comes from renewables, and the Commission has proposed to more than double this to at least 45% by 2030.
Since the beginning of the year an estimated additional 20 GW of renewable energy capacity have been added.
This is the equivalent of more than 4 bcm of natural gas.
Through the EU´s investments in LNG terminals and gas interconnectors, every Member State can now receive gas supplies from at least 2 sources, and reverse flows are possible between neighbours.