People began to save gas, and consumption fell by 18% in April.

After adjusting for weather, gas consumption in the Czech Republic fell by nearly 18% year on year in April. This is consistent with previous months when gas consumption was 11% lower year on year in the first quarter of this year.

Households, in particular, are saving, as industrial gas consumption tends to be relatively stable. Amper Meteo, a company, tracking energy consumption in the Czech Republic for a long time, said in a press release on Wednesday.

“Since gas consumption in industry is relatively stable, it is clear that most of this difference is due to savings in heating, which are motivated by the jump in energy prices, “said Kamil Rajdl, an analyst at Amper Meteo.

In the case of electricity, which has also become more expensive, Amper Meteo does not see a similar downward trend in consumption; adjusted for weather, actual consumption rose by 0.6 percent in the first four months of this year. According to the company, one simple explanation could be that reducing the temperature or heating time of water is more accessible than reducing the use of electricity-powered appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators.

Without Russian gas, there is a risk of an economic slump

European countries are in limbo over Russian gas supplies. The Kremlin is demanding payment for gas in rubles. For example, last week, Russian gas company Gazprom halted gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. It justified its decision because local gas companies PGNiG and Bulgargaz refused to pay for gas in rubles, as Moscow demands.

According to the Czech government, there are no signs that the Czech Republic is currently facing a similar threat. However, a possible long-term outage would cause an apparent economic downturn, according to the Confederation of Industry and Transport. It could also threaten food production, according to the Czech Food Chamber. According to many companies, gas cannot be replaced by electricity in the short term.