The population will not be affected during the cold season, even if a state of alert will be established at the level of the European Union and a 15% reduction in natural gas consumption will become mandatory, George Niculescu, state secretary in the Ministry of Energy, told Digi24. Consumers will be protected, he assured. At the same time, the secretary of state said that all scenarios must be discussed in the conditions in which Russia uses gas as a weapon.
EU energy ministers on Tuesday approved a proposal by which member countries commit to cutting gas consumption by 15% from August to March due to the insecurity of energy supplies caused by the war in Ukraine.
“This decision is a voluntary measure, which comes into force on August 1. So it is not mandatory. The situation may change if a state of alert is declared at the EU level, then the measure becomes mandatory and we will also have to apply this reduction in natural gas consumption by 15% between August 1, 2022 and March 1, 2023 in relation to the average consumption over the last 5 years during this period of time.
The population, during the cold season, regardless of whether a state of alert will be established and the reduction of gas consumption by 15% will become mandatory, consumers are protected. And the production of heating agent and the consumers connected to the centralized heating networks will not suffer. Critical industries, defense, SMEs, because we need to protect SMEs which are the basis of our economy, In principle, these are the categories that will not be affected by the measure, if it becomes mandatory,” the Energy officials stated.
In his turn, President Klaus Iohannis also tackled the gas reduction topic today, during the meeting with his Moldovan counterpart, Maia Sandu.
“It is clear that we will face a complicated winter and we need to save and look for alternative sources of gas, but the 15% reduction in gas consumption, as recommended at EU level, is possible if it is done wisely, without anyone being left out in the cold“, said President Klaus Iohannis, on Friday, at the Cotroceni Palace.
The Romanian president argued that the European approach of making voluntary savings of 15% is a correct one. “We must, of course, look for alternative sources of gas, look to invest in renewable resources, but at the same time it is wise to save where possible. I repeat, where possible. The economy must be done head on. We must not imagine that we want anyone to be out in the cold. We cannot imagine that anyone wishes there was no gas for industry. All things must work.”
Iohannis said that an analysis was done in Romania and the relevant ministry came to the conclusion that for Romania, an economy as agreed is possible, feasible and sustainable. “We are not talking about a 15% reduction in consumption compared to what we have now, but a 15% reduction compared to the average of recent years. Our calculations show us that something like this is possible without forcing someone to stay in the cold and without closing entire sectors of the Romanian industry”, the head of state explained.