BERLIN (Reuters) - Some three quarters of companies that use natural gas in Germany's manufacturing sector have managed to cut back on the energy source with only minor restrictions to production, but scope for further savings is running out, according to a survey.
Among the companies surveyed by the Ifo institute, 59% use natural gas in their production processes, the institute said. Of those, 75% have saved on gas in the past six months without curtailing production.
However, "the potential for further savings without a drop in production seems to be running out," said Karen Pittel, director of the Ifo Center for Energy, Climate, and Resources.
For the next six months, only around 39% of gas-using industrial companies said they would be able to further reduce their gas consumption while keeping production at the same level, the Ifo said.
For around 41% of gas-using industrial companies, the only way for them to save more gas would be cutting production, while 12.3% said they would have to stop production altogether, according to the survey.
(Writing by Rachel More; Editing by Bradley Perrett)