Commission Proposes Emergency Measures to Save Gas for Next Winter

The European Commission published a plan setting out emergency measures to reduce gas use during next winter in the event of supply disruptions from Russia

Council regulation on Coordinated Demand Reduction Measures for Gas including the following key provisions:

  • Based on Article 122 of the EU Treaty, the proposal sets a voluntary target for all Member States to reduce gas demand by 15% between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023 (see Article 3)
  • The Commission would have the possibility to declare, after consulting Member States, a ‘Union Alert’ on security of supply, imposing a mandatory gas demand reduction on all Member States (see Article 4). If the Union alert is declared, the 15% reduction target becomes mandatory (see Article 5).
  • 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 two months.

Given the legal basis, the Regulation requires a qualified voting majority in the Council of the EU to enter into force.

Communication “Save gas for a safe winter” putting forward a set of measures and criteria for coordinated demand reduction while safeguarding supply to households and essential users (e.g. hospitals, other critical industries).
The suggested provisions, to be considered by Member States, include:

  • Fuel substitution possibilitiesnon-mandatory savings schemes and alternative energy sources
  • Auction or tender systems to incentivise energy reduction by industry. To this end, Member States may offer support in line with the amendment of the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, also adopted by the Commission today.
  • Public awareness campaigns promoting reduction of heating and cooling on demand side
  • Mandates to lower heating and cooling in buildings operated by public authorities

As part of the plan, the Commission will also accelerate work on supply diversification, including joint purchasing of gas to strengthen the EU’s possibility of sourcing alternative gas deliveries.

Depending on the extent of the gas supply disruptions in the coming months and the related measures implemented by Member States, the plan can also have direct impact on DSOs who might be required to curtail supply to certain customers.

Member States will discuss the Commission’s proposals already next week on 26 July during the extraordinary Energy Council organized by the Czech Presidency.

The press release is available here.

GEODE will continue to closely monitor the developments stemming from today’s publication and remains at your disposal for any further information.