ROME, Oct 7 – PRIME. Italian Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani signed a decree to reduce natural gas consumption in the winter, according to which the 2022-2023 heating season will be reduced by 15 days, and the air temperature in residential premises will be reduced by one degree.
In accordance with this document, the entire territory of the country is divided into six geographical zones, each of which has its own heating period. So, for example, in Rome, which is assigned to zone D, heating will be produced for 11 hours a day from November 8 to April 7. The shortest heating period is provided for zone A, which includes the island of Lampedusa and the southern regions of Sicily, but in the northern zone F there will be no restrictions at all.
The heating season in the Apennines this time will start eight days later and end a week earlier. At the same time, in order to save money, heating will be produced one hour less per day, and the temperature in residential premises will be reduced to 19 degrees, and in industrial premises – to 17.
An exception to these rules is made for medical institutions, nurseries and kindergartens, swimming pools, saunas, as well as for all buildings equipped with heating systems that operate mainly on renewable energy sources. In addition, the decree allows municipal authorities to turn on heating during periods that are not provided for by this document, in the event of “particularly difficult climatic conditions.”
According to the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), the implementation of these measures should save 2.7 billion cubic meters of gas.
The volume of gas consumption in Italy in 2021, according to the gas transmission network operator Snam, amounted to 76 billion cubic meters, an increase of almost 8% compared to 2020.
Claudio Descalzi, head of Italy’s leading oil and gas group Eni, said on Thursday that Italy is well positioned to get through the coming winter as national gas storage facilities are full and Russian gas has largely been replaced. At the same time, he allowed the emergence of “technical problems” with the supplier countries, and also indicated that a colder winter with temperatures below the average recorded over the past four years cannot be ruled out.