Natural gas comes in many different forms, that all have distinct and shifting qualities. As a result, different types of natural gas are used in the EU, rather than one type of gas with one specific quality.
This can cause problems in an integrated energy market, as suppliers in one country risk having their gas rejected by transmission system operators in another because the gas does not have the right quality. This difference in gas qualities can moreover affect whether household and industrial products are used in a safe manner.
By introducing quality standards in gas, the EU helps ensure a safe and secure delivery of gas that can be used across Europe. The EU is collaborating with the European Association for the Streamlining of Energy Exchange to carry out the work.
Mandates for harmonisation
The European Commission has issued a mandate to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) to draw up harmonised standards for gas quality in the EU. This mandate consists of analysing the effects of changes in gas quality on consumer appliances such as stoves and boilers which fall under the Gas Appliance Directive 2009/142/EC. This work is led by a consortium called GasQual, managed by CEN.
An analysis of the costs and benefits of gas quality harmonisation on the whole supply chain from producer to final consumer has also been carried out, following a request from the European Commission. This work was done by GL Noble Denton and Pöyry Management Consulting in 2012.
To help the harmonisation process, the European Commission runs workshops where it seeks input from companies and other organisations in the gas supply chain.
01/07/2014 - Gas quality harmonisation
05/12/2011 - Gas quality
05/03/2010 - Cost-benefit analysis