Though in December growth in energy prices in Europe decelerated to 25.5% YoY,
the lowest rate in 2022, local consumers remain under immense pressure and are scrambling for ways to cut their energy use. In this race for energy savings, 76% of households have turned down their indoor temperature, which fell by almost 1 degree Celsius on average in November and December.
And while storage sites in Europe are 73% full, governments still have time to ponder over what needs to be done to avert an all-out energy crisis.
The anxiety among Europeans is heightened by uncertainty about the future of much-needed gas imports. Estimates by the IEA suggest that this year the bloc could be short of around 57 billion cubic meters of gas amid dwindling deliveries from Russia, with more cargoes now being diverted to Asia. That said, according to Bruegel,
monthly natural gas demand from industry and households in December 2022 was still 16.5% below the average for 2019-21, at 310.87 TWh (see Fig. 1).