On 8 September 2022, the Minister for Energy, Claude Turmes, the Minister for Home Affairs, Taina Bofferding, and the Minister for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Lex Delles, together with the representatives of Syvicol, Serge Hoffmann, the Chamber of Commerce, Fernand Ernster, and the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts, Alexander Kieffer, presented the national campaign for energy savings.
In order to cope with the reduction in Russian gas supplies, the EU Member States have agreed on a reduction - in a first phase on a voluntary basis - of 15% of the demand for natural gas over the reference period from 1 August 2022 to 31 March 2023. The government joins this reduction effort and calls for immediate vigilance and solidarity from all parties.
Minister for Energy Claude Turmes calls for the commitment of all actors to contribute to this national effort: "Every effort counts and every resource we save contributes to making our energy supply more secure, reducing costs and helping us to achieve our climate targets".
Voluntary measures to achieve a reduction in natural gas consumption
The voluntary measures aim to encourage all natural gas consumers to strive for a reduction in their natural gas consumption of at least 15% compared to the average consumption in the reference period of the years 2017 to 2021. This first voluntary phase includes specific measures for four categories of actors.
1. State actors: setting an example
The government decided in the Council of Government of 2 September 2022 on energy saving measures for the State; an instruction note describing the consumption reduction measures to be implemented will be sent to all ministries and administrations and a note has already been sent to all State personnel (see annexes). These measures include a reduction of the heating temperature to 20°C, as well as general principles for reducing energy consumption and will be accompanied by counsel on energy.
It should be noted that the measures decided upon are not limited exclusively to the reduction of natural gas consumption, since any energy saving on any energy vector (electricity, heating oil, fuels, etc.) can also indirectly contribute to a reduction in natural gas consumption at European level.
This measure could reduce the state's natural gas consumption by 10 to 20%.
2. Municipal actors: key players in reducing energy consumption
The municipalities that are committed to the Climate Pact are already making efforts and are actively engaged in the continuous improvement of their energy efficiency, with the objective of reducing their energy consumption and consequently their energy costs. A circular note (no. 4168) was sent to them at the beginning of August, suggesting concrete measures to reduce energy consumption in the context of various municipal activities (see appendices). With these measures, a saving of 10 to 20% of natural gas can be achieved by the municipal actors. Municipalities can also take advantage of the counsel service that has been set up under the Climate Pact 2.0.
"In addition to the measures, we need to strengthen the energy resilience of municipalities. It is important to be prepared for extreme and unpredictable situations, even if we are confident that the measures taken will be sufficient", says Minister of Home Affairs Taina Bofferding.
To this end, the Minister announced that the cooperation with the municipalities aimed at better preparing for all possible scenarios will be discussed at the next meeting of the working group 'resilient municipalities' within the framework of the national platform for disaster risk reduction.
3. Companies: counsel service and concrete measures underway
Companies are also encouraged to implement measures to reduce their consumption of natural gas and electricity, using the means at their disposal. To this end, a voluntary commitment programme will be launched. Concrete measures in the industrial sector have been discussed and prepared with FEDIL. In order to help companies find potential for reducing consumption, the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts and the Chamber of Commerce, together with the Klima-Agence, will set up an counsel service in this area and a hotline where companies can easily obtain information. These measures can lead to a reduction of 20-30% in the natural gas consumption of companies and the industrial sector.
In addition, there is a call for solidarity and vigilance on the part of Luxembourg traders to support energy-saving measures. In the context of the national information campaign "Zesumme spueren - Zesummenhalen", the General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship, the Luxembourg Trade Confederation, the Federation of Craftsmen and the Chambre of Commerce will send a letter to all traders in the Grand Duchy in order to raise their awareness and to support them in their energy saving projects with recommendations and examples of good practice.
Lex Delles, Minister for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, stresses that "saving energy is an issue for everyone in our society. In this context, businesses play an important role, as they can significantly contribute to the reduction of energy consumption. I am particularly pleased with the tight and productive exchange with the professional chambers and federations that support companies in their efforts to save energy, especially through the national information campaign "Zesumme spueren - Zesummenhalen".
4. Citizens: "Zesumme spueren - Zesummenhalen" ("saving together - sticking together")
The general public, each individual citizen, also has an important role to play in achieving the consumption reduction targets. Today, a national awareness campaign is being launched: "Zesumme spueren – Zesummenhalen". The multimedia campaign will be completed by a website (www.zesumme-spueren.lu) designed to inform every citizen on how to save energy and therefore also money. Households that use gas heating, for example, can save up to 10% just by lowering the temperature by 1-2 degrees in their homes and more in unoccupied rooms. In addition, the website informs citizens about the various financial aids that are available to facilitate energy renovation and the transition to renewable energy and to support low-income households.
According to the above-mentioned estimations regarding the potential savings, the 15% reduction can be achieved through voluntary measures, provided that each actor is prepared to make an effort at his or her own level and to actively engage in the campaign.
Press release by the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning