The European Commission and International Energy Agency (IEA) have warned that rationing of motor fuel and fuel for home-heating may soon be a reality across Europe.
The statement came as both bodies published a guide for citizens to reduce their energy use entitled “Playing My Part.”
The guide gives advice such as “turn down heating and use less air-conditioning,” “adjust your boiler’s settings,” “work from home” and “use public transport,” among other recommendations for saving energy.
“Using less energy is a concrete way for Europeans to reduce their bills, cut reliance on Russian fossil fuels, demonstrate solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and support climate action,” said the IEA.
The group warned that energy consumption would rise during the summer as people travelled more, and could rise even further in winter as people used more heating.
“We may be left with the choice of either utilities will have to ration – cut the energy to consumers – or we do it ourselves by pushing the energy efficiency button,” said IEA director Fatih Birol.
This week Stefan Besseghini, president of Italy’s energy regulator, warned that the country is preparing for an “emergency scenario.”
“Italy is already looking to replace Russian gas supplies with deals with several African countries – including Algeria, Egypt and Angola – but they are not expected to have an immediate effect,” he said.
“In that case we will almost certainly enter into an emergency scenario,triggering a protocol foreseeing some disconnections and an order of priority between users. The details are confidential, we will see.”