14 Jul 2022, 12:52
Jessica Bateman

Gas bills to triple from 2023, says grid agency boss


Germany's public is yet to experience the full impact of rising gas prices as bills could “triple” from 2023, Klaus Müller, the president of the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), has warned in an interview with RND. Müller advised against the buying of electric-powered fan heaters, referring to there being a run on these at the moment in Germany, since people wouldn't save money using them next winter; he also assured that even in the event of Russia turning off the gas tap for good, Germany would continue to receive gas from Norway and from terminals in Belgium or Holland, and also directly from terminals on the German coast soon. In the case of shortages, the BNetzA would "try to carry out interventions as minimally invasive as possible" for industrial gas consumers, for example by using hourly shut-offs of individual large consumers which may help to restore stability in the gas grid. Müller stressed the need for saving energy already this summer, for example by stopping the heating of public outdoor swimming pools.

Germany is faced with a severe gas shortage next winter as deliveries from Russia, amid its war of aggression against Ukraine, are dwindling. The government has made provisions for coal-fired power stations to fill the gap in the electricity sector but other areas - in particular heating and industry where most of the imported gas is used - are struggling to find alternatives. While the government is trying to have gas storages filled as much as possible before the winter, the BNetzA is tasked with building a database that will allow it to decide which consumers - according to a priority list and grid stability criteria - are serviced in the event of an acute gas shortage.

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