The heating season is already in full swing. This November was colder than in the last five years. Even last year, this month was warmer than this year, which can also be seen in the use of energy for heating.
According to data from Amper Mateo, gas consumption in November did not change much year-on-year, falling by 232 GWh year-on-year. “Gas consumption was at practically identical figures year-on-year, even after adjustment for the effect of the weather. So there have been no additional savings since last year. On the contrary, compared to long-term values (2017-2021), gas consumption fell by 20 percent, even after adjustment for the effect of weather,” says Amper Meteo analyst Kamil Rajdl.
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Savings are evident from monthly statements since the beginning of last year, when consumption was lower every month than in previous years – including the pre-crisis year 2019.
“The positive thing is that long-term savings are still high, which could have been helped by the transition to other technologies or complex savings within industry or even households,” adds the analyst.
Every year, the data can be used to trace the onset of the heating season associated with a drop in temperatures – it occurs in October, when the consumption curve rises sharply. However, the fact that October and November last year were among the warmest according to meteorologists, so the curve did not “go wild” at the beginning of the season as in previous years. Both in December 2022 and in the winter and spring of 2023, the Czechs maintained the austerity regime.
We also save on electricity
The weather was also reflected in the monthly consumption of electricity, which, like gas, is reflected in the fact that people and companies are starting to turn on the heating. Even so, the energy savings from the data are noticeable.
“The impact of electricity generation from PV plants in November was already decreasing, also thanks to the less favorable weather. Electricity consumption fell by 5.8 percent year-on-year, and after adjustment for the effect of the weather, the savings amount to 6.4 percent,” comments Rajdl.
In the long run, the decline in consumption was even higher. “Compared to long-term values, the savings in electricity consumption were a record, namely 10.6 percent,” says Rajdl.
In 2022, overall electricity savings amounted to 2.7 percent, after adjusting for the effect of weather, they amounted to 1.9 percent.
The trays are full
According to the data available to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the gas reservoirs were full as of Sunday, October 29, 2023, corresponding to 3464.2 million cubic meters of gas. Given the total capacity of domestic reservoirs – 3,457 million cubic meters – they were therefore filled to more than 100 percent.
“When comparing the total capacity of Czech storage tanks in the amount of 37.929 TWh and the amount of energy in stored gas as of October 31, in the amount of 37.681 TWh, we can state that the storage tanks are 99.34 percent full,” explains Michal Kocůrek, managing consultant of EGÚ Brno. However, volume units are used for simplified representation.
It works the same way in other states. “In the EU, the stock level in Portugal is currently at 107 percent, in Romania at 103 percent and in Spain at 100 percent of maximum capacity,” adds Kocůrek.
Domestic inventories increased by 19.9 million cubic meters from the previous week. During the heating season, a significant amount is pumped out of gas reserves every week.
From the beginning of 2023, the reservoirs will no longer be filled with Russian gas. In earlier months, raw material flowed from Russia in small volumes via Slovakia and Ukraine. In January, February and March 2023, however, these inflows were at zero. Gas is currently flowing into the country from Norway, as well as mainly American LNG from Belgium and the Netherlands.
At this time last year, 3,300.7 million cubic meters of gas were stored, which is 95.4 percent of storage capacity. They were even much emptier in 2021, when they contained 2,813.2 million cubic meters of gas (81.3 percent full).
At the time, analysts accused Moscow of manipulating gas prices and renting capacity that it then deliberately did not use. Inventories are now higher than in the previous four years, despite damage to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Where does the data for the energy consumption index come from?
For electricity, Amper Meteo works with data published by the Czech Electricity Transmission System (ČEPS).
The company draws data on gas consumption from the data of the company Net4Gas, which ensures the transportation of natural gas. This is the consumption that will pass through pipes operated only by Net4Gas, so the data does not cover the total domestic consumption – therefore there is a noticeable variation of about three per cent compared to the total gas consumed.
Older data are more accurate by this deviation and come from the Energy Regulatory Office. Gas consumption also includes the amount pumped by the Počerady gas power plant.
All data are adjusted for the effect of weather, which means that they are recalculated to the long-term weather average, especially temperatures, solar radiation is also taken into account for electricity. Each day is cleaned separately, in the case of weeks and months, the cleaned data are added together.
Gas consumption figures are primarily given in gigawatt hours (GWh), but can be converted to cubic meters – 1 GWh = 0.09478673 million cubic meters. However, according to Amper Meteo, this conversion is not completely accurate, as a cube can contain different amounts of energy under different conditions, but the deviation is negligible.
Where and how to ask for help in a difficult situation
If you are short on funds due to expensive energy and inflation in general, these government grants can help.
Capping energy prices it only applies from January, but you can pay lower deposits to your energy supplier from 1 November. Just call the supplier’s infoline and agree on a new payment amount.