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What the Commission wants you to do to save energy as Russia cuts taps

Parisians ride their bikes along the Seine river in Paris, Sunday, May 24, 2020.
Parisians ride their bikes along the Seine river in Paris, Sunday, May 24, 2020. Copyright Francois Mori/AP
Copyright Francois Mori/AP
By Alice Tidey
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Saving energy is particularly important as consumers deal with high bills and as the EU as a whole might struggle to secure all the energy it needs to face the coming winter.

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The European Commission is expected to unveil a common European Emergency Demand Reduction plan in July in a bid to be prepared should Russia turn off the oil and gas taps further.

EU citizens will most likely to expected to contribute.

Russia has so far partially or completely cut deliveries of fossil fuels to 12 member states and the EU is now concerned that it could squeeze supply even further and jeopardise the bloc's goal of filling gas storage to 80% capacity before the cold sets in.

The EU has struck deals with other providers including the US, Norway, Israel and Egypt as it seeks to drastically slash oil and gas from Russia but several EU leaders have already warned that the bloc is likely to face a challenging winter.

Citizens, which have seen their energy bills and the cost of living in general skyrocket due to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the energy market and food security, can assist, the Commission has emphasised.

"If we overall in the European union, reduce the heating temperature that we have day and night sometimes running by only 2 degrees, or air conditioning of air conditioning would be up two degrees, we can save the whole deliveries of Nord Stream 1," President Ursula von der Leyen said last week.

Some 59.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas were transported through the Nord Stream Pipeline, which connects Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, last year. 

That amounts to more than a third of the total amount of gas Russia exported to the EU.

Asked by Euronews what other small actions, EU citizens should take, a Commission spokesperson said: "to use alternative forms of transport, to use public transport" or to bike or walk to work whenever possible. 

"And there's also the idea of when people have the opportunity to work from home, that they take up that possibility because that, again, reduces the amount of fuel that we use for the transport," Tim McPhie said. 

"But I mean, everybody knows in their only daily life the kind of things you can do, paying attention to just switching off your lights, you know, basic things like when you're cooking, putting a lid on your pots, all of these little small things when you've got 440 million Europeans doing them collectively add up and have a significant impact," he stressed.

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