The Government is preparing to adopt mandatory measures to meet the targets agreed in Brussels, which asked the 27 member states for a "15 percent reduction" in total gas consumption, as of this month, providing for the possibility of an "abrupt" cut of gas supplies from Russia.

According to reports by Expresso and Público, the measures will have an impact not only on Public Administration services, but also on private companies, commerce, services, industry and individual consumers.

António Costa has reportedly asked the Energy Agency (ADENE) to prepare an "energy saving and water efficiency plan" with detailed measures, goals, objectives and respective impact, so that Portugal can fulfil its part of the agreement reached a week ago in Brussels.

ADENE expects to present the plan to the Government in the next "two or three weeks", the agency's president, Nelson Lage, told Expresso, admitting the possibility of having energy saving measures on a provisional basis, similar to the Spanish plan, and others that may be "permanent".

7% cut a possibility

According to Público, citing a member of the Government, despite Brussels' call for a 15 percent reduction, Portugal should, like Spain, reduce energy consumption by just 7 percent. Some of the hypotheses under analysis refer to the use of refrigeration in supermarkets, air conditioning in shopping centres and heating in hotels, says the newspaper, which adds that a general awareness campaign is also on the cards to target companies and families.

The proposed measures that the Energy Agency is working to present to the Government are based on seven key areas, namely residential buildings; trade and services; industry; Public administration; mobility, transport; training and qualification, with a view to improve resource management, information and awareness.

"It will not just be an awareness campaign, there will be measures focused on the various sectors, from individual consumers to industry", said Nelson Lage, former advisor to the Secretary of State for Energy, João Galamba.

Earlier this week, in an interview with Jornal das 8 on TVI, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, said that "the Portuguese have managed to achieve levels of savings in consumption of significant gas emissions and above the EU targets', so no 'additional measures' were envisaged in this regard.

The minister only added that the Government will adopt a security package this August that could include "symbolic measures that help raise public awareness of consumption" of gas, without specifying which.