Italy has activated emergency measures to conserve gas supplies as freezing weather continues to grip the country and much of Europe.
Italy has been receiving reduced gas imports from Russia - one of its main suppliers - at the same time as gas consumption has soared.
Some power stations will switch to oil and some industrial customers will have gas supplies cut so homes stay warm.
EU officials deny there is an emergency caused by a drop in gas from Russia.
The Russian gas giant Gazprom - which supplies about a quarter of Europe's natural gas - says it is facing GREater domestic demand because of the extreme cold.
Italian industry minister Corrado Passera described the situation as "critical" as government and industry officials held crisis talks in Rome. Further talks are planned for Tuesday.
At least 24 people have died in the rare conditions which have seen temperatures of -10C recorded in Milan and heavy snow closing Rome's Colosseum.
The government reassured the public on Monday that they would not face cold homes.
"Families can feel at ease," said Claudio De Vincenti, undersecretary（副部长） of economic development.
However, Italian energy supplier Eni urged private consumers to cut back on energy use as much as possible.
"This is a difficult moment," said spokesman Gianni di Giovanni.
Eni's chief executive Paolo Scaroni said: "We are in an emergency and we have reacted to this emergency by increasing gas imports from Algeria and from northern Europe via Switzerland.
"We won't have problems until Wednesday," he said on news channel Radio 24.
Italy imports about 90% of its gas needs and gets about 30% from Russia.
Meanwhile, Arctic conditions have continued to sweep Europe with authorities reporting more than 200 weather-related deaths.
Many of the victims have been homeless people in Ukraine and Poland.
Warsaw police officer Monika Golebiewska said new fatalities were being reported daily, said the AFP news agency.
In southern Bulgaria, four elderly people drowned in their homes in the south-eastern village of Biser when a dam wall broke unleashing（发动，解放） a 2.5m (8ft) wall of icy water.
Switzerland reported -35.1C in the eastern Graubuenden canton（行政区） and in the Czech Republic, the town of Kvilda recorded a winter low of -39.4C.
Lithuania reported the deaths of 12 more people over the weekend as a result of freezing conditions.
Forecasters says the icy conditions will last at least until the end of this week.