Households reduced their natural gas consumption by more than 23 percent, and economic operators by nearly 25 percent, in the last month of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, the Ministry of Energy (EM) told MTI on Wednesday.
It was pointed out that, according to data from the Central Statistical Office, last year’s annual gas consumption decreased by 17 percent compared to the year before. A significant decrease can also be seen in electricity use, which was more than 7 percent in December and nearly 3 percent in 2022 compared to 2021.
In addition to the mild weather, the significant drop is also due to conscious consumer behavior due to the increase in energy prices caused by the sanctions and the government’s savings measures, they write in the announcement.
They explained that in December 2022, natural gas was consumed in Hungary by almost 24 percent less than a year earlier. Last year, gas consumption among residential users was 16.6 percent lower than in 2021, and in the case of the economy, it was 17.2 percent lower. The gas savings ordered at some state-run institutions also contributed to this.
It was emphasized that the stock still available in the domestic storage would be enough for about three months even without new quantities, approaching the middle of the heating season – taking into account the greater winter use of previous years.
The consumption of electricity in Hungary also decreased compared to the data from the year before last. Electricity consumption was 7.1 percent lower in December than in 2021, and almost 3 percent lower on an annual basis.
The government continues to consider the protection of overhead reductions as one of its primary tasks, and for this purpose, it has quadrupled the overhead protection fund – from HUF 670 billion to HUF 2,610 billion – it is written in the announcement.
In December 2022, Hungarian families also had the cheapest access to natural gas and received electricity at the second cheapest price among European consumers. Prices for residential users have not risen below or above average consumption since January. Households have access to the most important energy carriers at the same prices throughout the entire heating season. With more economical use, the security of supply risks caused by the sanctions policy can be mitigated, the Ministry of Energy informed.