The consumption of natural gas in Germany in recent months has significantly decreased both among households and in the private sector – in October alone, the industry consumed blue fuel by 19% less.
Against the backdrop of a freeze in Russian gas supplies and the resulting energy crisis, consumption in Germany in October fell by 19% in the industrial sector and up to 36% in private households and small businesses, when compared with expected consumption without anti-crisis measures.
In other words, regardless of external factors affecting gas consumption, such as weather or general economic development, the German industrial sector used 19% less gas in September than would be expected for this time of year.
Households and small commercial customers also began to significantly reduce gas consumption in March 2022, reaching 36% in September 2022. Among the possible reasons for this, the authors of the study cite high prices, as well as a desire to support Ukraine against the background of the Russian invasion and increased media attention to the energy crisis.
According to the Gerty School scientists, prices are an effective means of coordinating and stimulating a reduction in demand for gas, and therefore, the energy subsidies introduced by the federal government “stimulate the consumption of natural gas, which in turn will lead to a further increase in prices.”
“Support policies and aid packages need to be carefully designed to mitigate hardships but maintain incentives for saving gas,” they add.