The numbers are out: Hungary saved a lot of gas and electricity during the heating season

From the summary of the portfolio, the following can be read with our own additions:

  • The population consumed 22.4 percent less natural gas and the economy 26 percent less natural gas between October 15, 2022 and April 15, 2023 than in the previous same period. This resulted in the 24.5 percent national decrease indicated in the introduction.
  • The announcement also indicates that, according to the KSH’s calculations, the consumption of households decreased by about 750 million cubic meters, to 2.5 billion cubic meters, and that of industrial and institutional players by nearly 1.25 billion cubic meters, to 3.4 billion cubic meters, during the heating season from October to April.
  • Thus, the two segments together saved about 2 billion cubic meters of gas compared to the previous heating season. Although it is not included in the current announcement, it is a recent one by Energy Minister Csaba Lantos in an interview indicated that, as a result of savings, last year’s full-year natural gas consumption fell to 9.5 billion cubic meters from over 11 billion cubic meters the previous year.
  • A calculation based on data provided by the MVM Group shows a 7.5 percent saving in electricity, roughly 1,900 gigawatt hours, for six months of the entire heating season.

We regularly wrote about the serious savings in gas and electricity consumption based on various statistics:

The ministry explains the serious savings in gas and electricity consumption with three main reasons:

  • on the one hand, with the mild weather, which in the first place helped considerably with less energy consumption,
  • on the other hand, with the government’s cost-saving measures, in connection with which he refers to the fact that the government has halved gas consumption in about a hundred central office buildings,
  • thirdly, with more conscious consumer behavior resulting from increased prices (changes in household and company utility systems, drifting of market prices).

The more significant gas savings this winter also helps in the fact that the gas storage season was able to start from a higher level from the beginning of April, so this improves the security of supply situation for the next winter even more. As can be seen in the figure below: by the end of the heating season, in mid-April, the combined capacity of Hungarian natural gas storage tanks had dropped to only 43.5% (in addition to the cold weather at the beginning of April, there was another drop), which is below the average level of the last 10 years (28.2 %) is substantially higher, and since then, uploading has started at the average rate for many years. Currently, the Hungarian storage facilities are already 50% full (this means 3.2 billion cubic meters), which is also much higher than the 10-year average level (34.2%), and compared to last year’s consumption 32.3% meanswhich is the third highest among EU member states after Austria and Slovakia.

By the way, the security of supply situation on the gas market next winter will also be improved by the fact that the government will not allow the use of the extra 700 million cubic meters of gas (special natural gas reserve) that it bought at an extremely high price last summer in addition to falling gas prices, because, according to our calculations, would be forced to register a financial loss. Therefore, it rather increased the gas reserves that can be said to be protected, because this must be added to the strategic reserves of 1.2 billion cubic meters, so compared to last year’s actual consumption of 9.5 billion cubic meters, the proportion of protected reserves is about 20%. We wrote about this in detail here.

Finally, in the residential segment, the announcement also mentions that “the government will maintain utility protection throughout the year up to average consumption. Thanks to this measure, which is unique in Europe, Hungarian families receive the cheapest electricity and gas among households in the member states.” We wrote here about why the government does not reduce the high gas price above the average consumption in addition to falling gas prices and consumption.

Cover image source: Getty Images

Source: – √úzlet by

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