The objective is that, between August 1 of this year and March 31, 2023, Member States reduce their consumption of natural gas by 15% (compared to the historical average in that period, considering the years 2017 to 2021), from in order to increase the European storage level and create a safety cushion for emergency situations.
Although Portugal initially opposed this rule - along with Spain, Greece and Poland -, it turned out to be favorable as an exception was placed on the table due to its "specific geographic or physical situation". Like other countries such as Spain or Greece, for example, Portugal will not have to reduce its gas consumption by the 15% initially planned, but it may have to make an effort so that its reduction in gas consumption reaches 7%.
At this point, countries should have to reduce their gas consumption “voluntarily”, however if the situation gets complicated, the European Commission can make this measure mandatory, which can have some implications for companies and consumers, especially during the winter period.
By entering into this agreement, the Portuguese Government does not aim to require the Portuguese to go through deprivation, but rather to make a more controlled management of the gas they use in their homes.