December 5, 2022

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Energy crisis: Brussels plans these measures if gas supply is cut off

Commercial contingency plan

Warming up to only 19 degrees – the EU plans these measures if gas supplies are cut off

“Here government intervenes and supplies gas”

“We are currently in a secondary level of alert,” says WELT reporter Marian Grundon. He explains what the gas emergency plan for Germany is all about and how exactly it works. But he makes one thing clear: “The emergency plan is being diligently shaken up.”

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The EU Commission expects Russia to cut gas supplies to Europe this year. Now there is a first draft of the emergency plan. Brussels is calling on households to voluntarily save gas – and planning limits for commercial buildings.

AIn view of the ongoing gas crisis, the economy and consumers may face significant energy conservation measures. The European Commission’s draft emergency plan calls for public buildings, offices and commercial buildings to be heated to a maximum of 19 degrees from autumn. “Acting now could reduce the effects of a sudden supply disruption by a third,” said the text, available to dpa and AFP news agencies. There is a “significant risk” that Russia will cut gas supplies to Europe this year.

Companies that can switch to gas should reduce their consumption, they say. Its aim is to protect supply chains and industries that are particularly critical to competitiveness.

The EU Commission is also proposing extensive gas saving campaigns for the period from October to March. It is intended to encourage private households to “turn the thermostat down one degree”. “Everyone can save gas now,” the draft says. “The greater the reduction through voluntary measures, the less the need for mandatory regulation of the industry.”

EU Commission: Gas supplies already severely cut

For example, existing rules specify that homes and hospitals will be given priority in case of gas shortages. However, it said that if electricity generation is at risk, countries can provide gas-fired power plants to supply electricity to certain protected consumers. “In times of emergency, Member States may decide to prioritize the gas supply of certain important gas-fired power plants over the gas supply of certain types of protected customers where the security of electricity supply may be at risk,” the draft said.

The plan is subject to change and is expected to be officially presented next Wednesday (July 20).

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According to the text, simulations by the regulatory authority ENTSO-G show that if the supply is cut off in July, gas storage facilities will not be sufficiently filled, and there could be further shortages in the winter and next year.

If the disruption occurs in October or later, there are fewer risks to winter demand. But you will have less time to react. It said the impact on member states depends on how dependent they are on Russian gas. Germany is one of the most affected countries.

According to the commission, gas supplies from Russia have already fallen sharply. Overall, gas flows are now less than 30 percent below the average from 2016 to 2021, according to the draft. This has led to historically high energy prices and fueled inflation. There is no sign that the situation will improve. It is more likely to get worse.

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