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EU Council approves extension on voluntary gas demand reduction

The EU Council has adopted a recommendation that encourages member states to continue reducing their gas consumption until 31 March 2025, by at least 15% compared to their average gas consumption in the period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022. The recommendation aims to provide time for the Member States to take adequate supply security measures (including specific circumstances such as desynchronisation, isolated systems and limited interconnection capacity) until the transposition of the directives (EU) 2023/1791 and (EU) 2023/2413 on energy efficiency and renewables in 2025. It also recommends maintaining other existing measures under the demand reduction regulation, such as monitoring and reporting of the gas demand reduction per sector and informing the Commission in case new measures are adopted.

In July 2022, the EU Council adopted a regulation on a voluntary reduction of natural gas demand by 15% as an urgent response to the energy crisis caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The measure was extended by one year in 2023 and it will cease to apply on 31 March 2024. Thanks to the measures, the EU has succeeded in phasing out approximately 65 bcm of Russian gas in 2023, primarily in households and industries.

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