Gas consumption by households and power plants falls in January

Consumption by non-daily metered large customers also declines compared with 2022

File photo dated 11/10/13 of a gas hob burning as Consumers "may wish to consider" wrapping up warm at home to help keep their heating bills down, Downing Street said today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday October 18, 2013. But a No 10 spokesman made clear that Prime Minister David Cameron would not seek to tell people whether they should put on a jumper when temperatures drop. See PA story POLITICS Energy. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The amount of metered gas consumed in Ireland fell 6 per cent in January from the same month last year, Central Statistics Office (CSO) data has indicated, while the volume consumed by power plants to generate electricity also declined.

Consumption by large customers that are metered on a daily basis also fell by close to 4 per cent year-on-year, from 381 gigawatt-hours for the month of January 2022 to 366 gigawatt-hours a year later.

Overall, total gas consumption in January was 5,210-gigawatt hours, the CSO said, a decline of 6 per cent.

‘Air temperature’

“Gas consumed by power plants to generate electricity was 6.6 per cent lower than in January 2022 while gas consumed by non-daily metered customers was 6.2 per cent lower than in January 2022,” said Dympna Corry, statistician in the CSO’s environment and climate division.


Ms Corry said that the five days in January with the highest networked gas consumption by non-daily metered customers were the 17th and 19th, which “coincided with the four days with the lowest maximum daily air temperature”.

The data also indicate that high wind speeds on certain days in January were associated with lower gas consumption by power plants with wind turbines capable of generating more electricity at those times.

Household natural gas prices were unchanged in January from December, according to the CSO’s consumer price index for the month, but were up 86.3 per cent year-on-year.

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Irish gas consumption declined over the past year, albeit at a much slower pace than the rest of Europe.

The European Union set a target of reducing the bloc’s total consumption of natural gas by 15 per cent between August and March as part of its plan to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels,

EU grid

Figures published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, published last week indicated that total European consumption declined by 17.7 per cent over that period with all countries achieving the target except for Ireland, where it declined by 0.2 per cent.

However, Ireland is exempt from the target, along with fellow island nations Cyprus and Malta, because it is not directly connected to the EU grid.

Natural gas was the largest source of electricity generation in Ireland in 2022, accounting for 48 per cent of the total, according to the latest figures from Gas Networks Ireland, followed by wind generation at 34 per cent. The fossil fuel can, however, account for more than 76 per cent of energy generation in the winter months on a given day if winds are low.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times