Hungary Mandates 25% Cut in Gas Consumption at State Institutions

Energy Trade

Gergely Gulyás

Photo: Gergely Botár/kormany.hu

Hungary's government has decided to mandate a 25% reduction in gas consumption at state institutions and state-owned companies, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Hospitals and nursing homes will be exceptions to the cut, Gulyás said.

He added that the government can maintain the regulated utilities price system for households, up to average consumption, but called on consumers to keep their gas and electricity use "within reason". He noted that government support for the regulated gas and electricity prices add up to a monthly HUF 150,000 per household. 

Thermostats at state institutions will be turned down to 18 degrees, he said, fielding questions.

Gulyás announced the launch of a scheme to help households who can switch to firewood and lignite from gas. A regulated price for firewood harvested from local forests will be set by the government, while forestry companies ensure people ten cubic meters of wood, enough to heat a household for the winter, he added.

The government will secure the state pre-emption rights for the purchase of lignite while raising the threshold for open-pit lignite extraction from 50,000 tonnes to as much as 280,000 tonnes, he said.

The government will draft an assistance program for SMEs in energy-intensive industries that extends to both gas and electricity, he added.

He said the government is negotiating with local councils and will provide support where it can, but added that the "primary task" is for everybody to manage the higher energy costs by saving on consumption.

Gulyás noted that Hungary's gas reserves are 65.4% full and contain enough gas to supply the entire country for 81 days. The volume is sufficient to supply households alone for a period of 175 days, he added.

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