Czech gas 2023 consumption lowest in decades helped by savings, weather

Credit: REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Czech gas consumption fell last year to its lowest levels since 1992, decreasing more than 10% as customers cut back further amid a savings drive since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the country's Energy Regulatory Office (ERU) said on Monday.

The Czech Republic has diversified away from near total dependency on Russian gas since Moscow's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, turning to gas from Norway and LNG, mainly through a terminal in the Netherlands.

An ongoing savings push and warmer weather last year also helped cut consumption.

Gas consumption fell 10.4% in 2023 to 6.76 billion cubic metres, with households cutting back by 11.6%, ERU said. Last year's drop added to a 20% fall in 2022.

"Mainly thanks to savings measures by customers, gas consumption has been falling consistently since the third quarter of 2021, the moment when an energy crisis started to appear," ERU chairman Stanislav Travnicek said.

Energy prices began surging in Europe in 2021 and the situation was made worse after the war in Ukraine started, causing prices to hit all-time highs. The European Union accused Russia of weaponising supplies as it cut off most deliveries.

The Czech Republic has responded by diversifying its supplies and has kept gas stores high.

Last year, 92% of Czech gas imports came over the German border, ERU said, while 8% were from Slovakia, the traditional route for Russian pipeline gas, although not all of that amount may have originated in Russia.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet, editing by Ed Osmond)


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