In 2023, Hungary witnessed a continued decline in gas and electricity consumption, informed the Ministry of Energy of Hungary. In the past two years, natural gas consumption has fallen by 23 per cent in the country.
Natural gas consumption reached 8.5 billion cubic meters last year in Hungary, marking a reduction of 1 billion cubic meters (10.9 per cent) compared to 2022 and 2.5 billion cubic meters (23 per cent) compared to 2021. Electricity consumption totalled 41 terawatt-hours, reflecting a decrease of over 2 terawatt-hours (4.7 per cent) compared to the previous year, underlined the ministry.
Households consumed over 3 billion cubic meters gas, while businesses needed nearly 5.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2023. The reduction in these two major consumer categories was 10.7 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, in annual comparison. Quarterly data for the fourth quarter indicate a slight increase, with total consumption surpassing the last quarter of 2022 by 1.3 per cent.
In November 2023, electricity consumption saw its first increase compared to the same month in the previous year, followed by a rise in December. The fourth quarter, with almost 11 terawatt-hours of consumption, resulted in a 2.1 per cent expansion despite the overall annual decline.
During the heating season from mid-October 2023, Hungary consumed nearly 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas and approximately 9.5 terawatt-hours of electricity. Compared to the same period in 2022, these figures show a 1.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent increase, respectively.
The government anticipates potential increases in businesses’ energy demand in 2024 accompanying an economic rebound. In Hungary, price caps on gas and electricity have been in pace for almost a decade but after the explosion of global energy prices in 2022 the government scrapped these caps for higher-usage households. The ministry said that 10 per cent of household natural gas and 20 per cent of electricity consumption exceeded the subsidised range.
Regarding security of supply, Hungary’s domestic gas storage levels remain above 86 per cent. The consumption ratio, more accurately reflecting the real situation, is 57 per cent, which is the third-highest among European countries and more than double the EU average, underlined the ministry.