Hungary intends to reduce the use of gas in public institutions by 25% - government

Hungary intends to reduce the use of gas in public institutions by 25% – government

Gas valves are seen at the Zsana warehouse in Zsana, Hungary on May 20, 2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

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BUDAPEST, Sep 8 (Reuters) – Hungary intends to cut gas consumption by 25% this heating season in public institutions and companies, excluding hospitals and social institutions, due to a sharp increase in electricity prices, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said Gergeli Goulash. Thursday.

Gulyas also urged consumers to use gas and electricity sparingly, adding that the government will regulate firewood prices to ensure households have access to fuel at affordable prices ahead of the heating season.

“Over the next two weeks, the ministries have to lay out their plans so that they consume only 75% of last year’s level (gas),” Gulyas said at a weekly media briefing.

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Gulyash said it could cut Hungary’s gas consumption by about 200 million cubic meters out of a total annual consumption of 10 billion cubic meters, including 3.5 billion cubic meters consumed by households.

“(Total consumption) will decrease as industry starts to consume less on its own, the public sector will be forced to consume less, while I think households are also looking to switch to alternative fuels,” he said.

Heating temperatures in government buildings will be limited to 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit), Gulyas said.

He added that the government is working on a scheme to help energy-intensive small businesses keep jobs.

Soaring energy prices in Europe caused Hungary’s trade balance to deteriorate sharply, with a massive €1.15bn ($1.15bn) deficit in July as increases in import spending far outpaced exports.

Volatility in European gas prices also put pressure on the forint, the worst-performing Central European currency due to Hungary’s high dependence on energy imports from Russia and uncertainty about access to European Union funding.

Economists at the Hungarian Banking Holding believe that Hungary’s terms of trade deterioration could lead to a trade account deficit of between 6 and 6.5 billion euros this year, compared to a surplus of 1.6 billion euros last year.

(1 dollar = 1.0002 euros)

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Reporting by Gergeli Sakacs and Anita Komuves; Editing by Edmund Clamann

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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