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For the winter, the German government has authorized a set of energy-saving regulations that will restrict lighting and heating in public structures.
The government hopes to reduce gas consumption by 2% through the new regulations.
According to Germany’s economy minister, the measures could save individuals, businesses, and the public sector about €10.8 billion (£9.1 billion) over two years.
It is a part of initiatives to lessen the nation’s reliance on Russian gas.
Germany used to import 55% of its gas from Russia before Russia invaded Ukraine, but it has since cut this to 35% and vowed to stop doing so completely.
Although it continues to be a big market for Moscow, it spent about €9 billion (£7.7 billion; $9.6 billion) on Russian oil and gas in the first two months of the conflict.
Additionally, Russia has reduced gas flows via the crucial Nordstream 1 pipeline to 20% of its maximum capacity, increasing concerns that it may turn off the taps this winter.
Germany wants to break free “as rapidly as possible from the yoke of Russian energy imports,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters.
Other sectors in Germany to save energy
Aside from institutions like hospitals, public buildings must be heated to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius starting in September. After that, the heating can be turned off entirely in entranceways, hallways, and foyers.
Read Also: Gas prices soar as Russia cuts German supply
Additionally, for aesthetic reasons, public monuments and structures won’t be lit up, and businesses might be prohibited from keeping their storefronts lit up at night.
The heating of private swimming pools can also be prohibited. Additionally, the nation will prioritize railroad passenger traffic less than coal and oil cargo, making travelers wait.
Increasing storage space Germany also intends to launch public relations initiatives to inform residents of ways to reduce their use.
Additionally, the nation is building two LNG facilities on the North Sea coast to increase storage amid worries about winter shortages.
The majority of EU members have voluntarily agreed to cut their gas consumption by 15% this winter; however, if there are severe shortages, this reduction will be required. Meanwhile, Spain has already established regulations restricting air conditioning and heating temperatures in large commercial and public buildings.
According to Switzerland’s energy minister on Wednesday, the EU’s plan would “definitely make sense” if the nation wanted to avoid an energy catastrophe.
In case of blackouts brought on by changes in Russian supply, the electricity authority of Switzerland has also advised households to stock up on candles.
Simonetta Sommaruga, the energy minister for Switzerland, stated earlier this month that she would work to have a proposal to lower the heating in public buildings implemented.