Council formally adopts 15% gas demand reduction target
The Council today adopted a regulation that extends the member states’ voluntary 15% gas demand reduction target, for one year. The regulation maintains the possibility for the Council to trigger a ‘Union alert’ on security of supply, in which case the gas demand reduction would become mandatory.
I am glad that the Council proceeded to swiftly adopting this regulation. Gas savings are crucial for the EU to reach its gas storage goals and be prepared ahead of next winter.
Ebba Busch, Swedish Minister for energy, business and industry
The new regulation modifies reporting rules for member states. Member states will keep reporting data on the savings achieved, at least every two months, with the possibility of submitting the reports earlier. If a Union alert was declared, they would report the data every month. Member states may, if they wish so, report the breakdown of energy consumption per sector.
The regulation includes a new provision to address a specific issue of an increased consumption of gas in a member state due to a coal-to-gas switch used for district heating, in determining the reference gas consumption.
The flexibilities foreseen for EU countries to meet the voluntary reduction target remain unchanged.
The Commission presented a proposal on 20 March 2023, under article 122 of the Treaty on the functioning of the EU, foreseen for emergency situations. The Council reached a political agreement on the proposal on 28 March 2023. The regulation was adopted by written procedure today. It will now be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force on 1 April 2023.
The new regulation is an exceptional and extraordinary measure, valid for a limited time.