Model-based Estimation of the Gas Consumption Savings in Austria

As a consequence of the gas shortage in Europe, the EU Commission has set the target of reducing gas consumption by 15 percent in the period August 2022 to March 2023. By 15 December 2022, this target had been achieved in Austria with a reduction in gas consumption of 17 percent. However, October and November were unusually warm. Thus, if the savings were purely weather-related, an average cold winter could mean that the savings target would not be met by March. We therefore estimate a temperature-dependent gas consumption model with data from the period 2015 to 2021 and use it to predict consumption in 2022. The difference between observation and prediction can be interpreted as temperature-independent savings in gas consumption. Our analysis shows that these savings in total gas consumption are about 7 percent, and thus below the EU target. Calculating the savings of industry, commerce and households without the gas consumption of electricity generation results in an outdoor temperature-adjusted reduction of consumption by 10 percent. Therefore, if an average cold winter were to occur, the absolute savings target of 15 percent would not be achieved if gas consumers did not adjust their behaviour compared to the observed period.