Europe’s gas consumption has significantly shrunk from August to January, due to unusually warm weather which decreased the use of household heating.
This is in addition to soaring prices curtailing industrial output and European governments’ emergency measures to contain the energy crisis, Reuters reported.
According to data published by the EU statistics office Eurostat, the EU’s gas use has decreased by 19.3% from August to January compared to the same period’s data five years ago.
Russia, previously Europe’s top supplier, cut off most deliveries to EU countries in the months following its February invasion of Ukraine – triggering an energy crisis in Europe of scarce supplies and record-high prices.
Lower gas use has worked in favor of EU countries in many ways, as their storage caverns are unusually full which increased the confidence that they will not face shortages, it helped EU nations to overachieve their target to voluntarily cut gas demand by 15% from August to March.
It was too early to give strong reasons behind what had curbed demand in specific sectors, but mild winter temperatures and industry-reduced output as a result of high prices were ongoing reasons.
“Weather has definitely played a very big role,” said Jacob Mandel, senior associate at Aurora Energy Research.
EU gas demand dropped by more than 22% in October, November and January, Eurostat said. December, which began with a cold snap that likely boosted household heating use, recorded a smaller decrease of nearly 13%.