EUROPE’s gas futures prices for November and December have continued to fall as regional storage facilities near maximum capacity. There is enough gas in stock to ensure supplies through the first half of the winter. But the risk to supplies in the second half and during next year’s refill season is keeping prices for 2023 high:
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U.K. GAS AND ELECTRICITY consumption has not shown a significant decline so far in response to higher prices. I spent a large part of yesterday trying to find a price response in the available official consumption statistics without success. The charts are below. But there are some important limitations:
Electricity consumption data is only available through June and gas data is only available through March owing to publication delays.
Most of the rise in prices has occurred since April with another big increase scheduled to take effect from October.
Heating demand and bills are lower in the summer months reducing consumers’ sensitivity to prices.
Domestic and commercial consumption patterns have been distorted by the lockdowns in 2020/21 and then re-opening in 2022.
Electricity and gas consumption has been on a long-term downtrend as a result of improvements in insulation and efficiency.
Electricity and gas consumption shows significant annual variation depending on winter temperatures.
Once these factors are taken into account, there is no evidence of a significant reduction in gas and electricity use by households, offices and commercial premises so far. If reductions are going to occur, it will be later this year and into 2023:
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