Italy to turn down winter heating to help save on gas usage

ITALY plans to turn down the heating in homes and businesses over the winter to help cut the amount of gas it uses and reduce the risks linked to a total halt of Russian gas flows.

Italy imported around 40 per cent of its gas from Russia before the conflict in Ukraine began but has moved rapidly to seek alternative supplies and reduce its reliance on Moscow.

Under a government plan announced on Tuesday (Sep 6), the temperature in apartment blocks and other public buildings will be regulated at 19 Celsius (66 Fahrenheit), 1 degree Celsius lower than previously. The figure will be set at 17C for industrial premises.

The heating will also be on for an hour a less each day.

Rome is also in talks with industrial lobby Confindustria to agree a further reduction in gas consumption on a voluntary basis, it added.

Italy hopes the curbs will cut its gas consumption by 3.2 billion cubic metres in the period from August-March and aims to cut a further 2.1 bcm by using alternative fuel supplies to generate electricity. That could be augmented by other measures encouraging individual users and businesses to reduce consumption, meaning that overall demand could fall by 15 per cent, in line with broader European Union plans.

Italy has filled its gas storage tanks to 83 per cent of capacity as of the start of September, the document added, stocking up ahead of the colder months. REUTERS

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