Measures taken by governments to reduce gas and electricity consumption vary widely across Europe and seem insufficient to meet the EU energy saving targets, a new analysis reveals.
It's four months since European leaders agreed to reduce their countries' demand for gas by 15% and electricity by 10%. But the measures adopted in this field seem to be too limited and patchy across EU countries.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has examined gas and electricity saving measures adopted by EU states and the findings show large disparities:
- 8 out of 27 EU states have not yet introduced any measures to reduce gas and electricity consumption. Neither in households nor in businesses or public bodies.
- Only 12 EU states have adopted some mandatory energy reduction measures.
- Countries importing large quantities of Russian gas such as Italy and Germany have introduced the most robust measures on gas savings.
- Less gas-dependent countries like France and Spain are also at the EU forefront of energy reduction measures, targeting both public entities and the private sector, households as well as industry and small businesses.
- Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Eastern European states tend to have weaker energy reduction measures in place.
- Despite being among the heavily gas-dependent countries (between 30 and 40% of the energy mix), the Netherlands and Croatia have only introduced voluntary gas-saving measures.
- Romania and Lithuania, despite their heavy reliance on fossil fuels, have not implemented any measure at all to reduce energy consumption.
Davide Sabbadin, Deputy Policy Manager for Climate at EBB, said:
"The sooner we reduce our energy usage, the quicker we reduce pressure on high energy prices, providing effective relief for households and industry. All signals tell us that filling gas storage before next year's winter might be far more challenging. Reducing the energy demand must be the top priority for policymakers, rather than short-term measures to keep us locked into an inefficient, fossil-fuel-hungry model. The EU can definitively do more to coordinate energy-saving action among its member states"