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* BDEW estimates domestic power demand at 278 TWh for H1
* Gas demand up 31 TWh at 494 TWh on colder weather, power

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German electricity consumption in the first half of the year was 0.2% lower than a year ago mainly due to improved efficiency, while gas demand was up 7%, data published by energy industry group BDEW showed Thursday.

Based on a first estimate, electricity net consumption was 278 TWh for the January to June period, the BDEW said.

Gas demand in the first half was estimated at 494 TWh, up from 462.4 TWh a year ago, mainly due to increased heating demand from colder temperatures in January, March and April, BDEW said, adding that industrial usage of gas was stable, while gas demand for power generation was also up.

Due to the lack of a national grid operator for power and gas, there are no reliable demand figures on a monthly basis, with the BDEW data often considered the industry standard.

The BDEW is the German energy industry's federal lobby group with around 1,800 member companies, representing about 90% of Germany's power and gas market.

--Andreas Franke,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,