Economics Ministry and Latvenergo urge consumers to save gas

  • 2022-07-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Considering gas supply issues in Europe, this resource should be spent more sparingly, Martins Cakste, board chairman of Latvenergo energy company, and Arturs Butans, head of Economics Minister Ilze Indriksone's (National Alliance) office, told LETA.

Butans indicated that the best energy is that which remains unspent and that in the first two quarters of this year gas consumption in Latvia already decreased. 

The Economics Ministry's representative noted that households have already become more prudent and companies are switching to alternative energy sources, including by getting involved in a program for replacing gas-fired boilers with woodchip or pellet-fueled equipment. 

Latvenergo board chairman Cakste said that although Latvenergo has purchased natural gas at the government's instructions, it is essential to learn to save gas already now because the price of gas will be high and there are also certain problems with supply. 

"This is the price for the war and independence, and this is a significantly smaller harm than what is happening in Ukraine. This is probably everyone's small contribution to this unity and fight against the aggressor. We need to be wise - let's spend sparingly, think about energy efficiency already now, in the summer, and how we can reduce this consumption," said Cakste. 

He said that the gas reserve purchased by Latvenergo will suffice to supply households with gas, but that there are concerns about the corporate sector, which is why businesses need to think how to supply themselves with energy and consider alternative options. 

At the same time, Cakste said that if the new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Paldiski is put into operation as planned, together with the Klaipeda LNG terminal it will ensure gas supply security in the region. 

As reported, the European Commission on Wednesday proposed introducing mandatory gas-saving targets for all EU member states if supplies deteriorate to a crisis level in the winter.

"We have to prepare for a potential full disruption of Russian gas, and this is a likely scenario," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned in a Brussels press conference.

In the event of a gas emergency in the bloc, the EU executive arm wants to impose the compulsory targets to force EU member states to save gas if voluntary measures are deemed insufficient.

The EU Commission is calling on member states to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 by at least 15 percent compared to average consumption levels in the period over the last five years.

The 27 EU countries will now examine the commission's plan. A qualified majority of 15 members, or EU countries representing at least 65 percent of the bloc's population, is required to pass the proposal.