Household gas consumption in December fell by more than 23% year on year, while businesses cut down gas use by almost 25%, the energy ministry said on Wednesday. Also, Central Statistical Office data shows that annual gas consumption last year shrank by an annual 17%, the ministry said in a statement. Meanwhile, electricity consumption was down more than 7% in December and approaching a drop of 3% for the full year. Mild weather and conscious consumer energy savings were behind the drops as energy prices spiralled upwards on the back of anti-Russia sanctions. Even with no further flows of gas entering the country, domestic reserves are sufficient to supply around three months of consumption, even based on the winter demand of previous years. A government priority is to safeguard caps on household energy bills, and it has quadrupled the relevant protection fund from 670 billion forints (EUR 1.7bn) to 2,610 billion, the statement said.
In December 2022, Hungarian households enjoyed the cheapest gas and second-cheapest electricity among European consumers, it added.