Czech households and businesses consumed one-fifth less natural gas last year than in 2021. After recalculating for the weather, consumption was about 15 percent lower. This is based on preliminary data from the Energy Regulatory Office.
According to the authority, while in 2021 the Czech Republic consumed just over 100,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of gas, last year it was 81,500 GWh. The biggest savings were in May, when consumption was down by a third year-on-year, and in October, when it fell by more than a quarter compared to 2021.
The results are in line with the European Commission’s call last year to reduce gas consumption by around 15 percent due to the Russian gas supply shortfall.
“These are good numbers. But it is not a surprise, because the reduction in gas and partly electricity consumption was already indicated by partial results during last year. It is therefore a confirmation of the trend,” ENA analyst Jiří Gavor said.
He added that the final bill was further improved by the warm weather in the second half of December. “Since gas is a significant heating medium and a lot depends on the development of the average temperature, usually consumption is recalculated to the standard temperature. After the recalculation, it looks a little more sober, and if you adjust for the Počerady steam-gas plant, the net savings is about 13 percent,” Gavor said.
Both households and businesses contributed to the savings, he said. The clear reason, which affected all sectors, was rapidly rising gas prices. “That’s an economic lever that directly affects every customer, from residential to business,” Gavor said. He noted that while there are areas of consumption for businesses that are not heating but technology-based, the opportunity for savings is not as easily attainable for them.
This year, only percentages
This year, according to Gavor, savings will continue, but not at such a pace. “There is room for savings this year, but it will be more limited. For households, practically nothing too big will happen anymore. Every consumer already knows that gas is an expensive medium, despite the price cap. Savings will continue, but I don’t think residents will be willing to reduce their thermal comfort any further,” he explained.
The government has set the price ceiling for households, entrepreneurs, and companies at three crowns per kWh, including VAT, for this year.
The savings will thus be gradual and depend on how quickly household investment measures such as insulation, heat pumps, or photovoltaics are implemented. “This has already started to slowly manifest itself in 2022, it will fully manifest itself this year,” Gavor said.
A number of companies are also planning savings, but in their case, the analyst said, they need to prepare a project, ask for contractors, and then implement it. “This year we can count on a reduction in consumption in units of percent,” the analyst added.