Europe is currently affected by an important increase in energy prices, as well as supply chain disruptions as a consequence of the pandemic restrictions and the war in Ukraine. The EU and member states are therefore trying to work on solutions to address this issue.
At the European level, the Commission has proposed a new legislative tool and a European Gas Demand Reduction plan, with the aim of reducing gas use in Europe by 15%. A new Council Regulation on Coordinated Demand Reduction Measures for Gas sets a target for all Member States to reduce gas demand by 15% between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023. This new regulation would also allow the Commission to impose a mandatory gas demand reduction. Member States have been invited to update their national emergency plans by the end of September to show how they are planning to meet the reduction target, and will subsequently report on their progress to the Commission every two months. Furthermore, the Commission also adopted a European Gas Demand Reduction Plan which sets out measures for coordinated demand reduction.
Member States are being strongly encouraged to launch public awareness campaigns to promote energy saving strategies through the reduction of heating and cooling. Industries will also be incentivized to reduce their energy consumption, which would be supported by the new State aid Temporary Crisis Framework. Through this framework, Member States therefore have the possibility of supporting the fitness and physical activity sector in their efforts and to alleviate the costs.
Measures are thus being taken at the national level, but national fitness associations have also been proactive and have added to the measures being taken by governments to support our industry. DSSV, for instance, has launched its Energy campaign for the Fitness Industry to share best practices on how to save energy and find potential funding opportunities. Several associations, such as ukactive and Active-FNEAPL are also calling for government support to help gym owners, who have already been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.