Dutch natural gas usage in 2022 was down 25% from 2021 and at the lowest level for 50 years, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said on Monday, citing higher prices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Consumption reached 31 billion cubic metres (bcm), down from 40.1 bcm in 2021, with large industrial companies and households both reducing gas use by about 25% on average.

The amount of gas used was lower than in 1972, when the country's population was a third smaller than today.

The CBS said that about 10% of the reduction by households was a result of an unseasonally warm autumn.

Among industrial users, chemicals companies cut their usage more than electrical utilities while large greenhouses, many of which have efficient generators to burn gas for warmth and sell the excess electricity to the national grid, used about 30% less gas in 2022.

Higher imports of LNG, including from the Eemshaven terminal set up in response to Russia's moves to cut gas exports to Europe, more than compensated for lower pipeline imports.

The country's gas storage facilities finished the year 75% full, with 10.8 bcm in storage. That was more than twice the level at the end of 2021. (Reporting by Toby Sterling Editing by David Goodman)