25 Aug 2022, 13:29
Benjamin Wehrmann

German government greenlights range of short- and long-term measures to save energy

Clean Energy Wire

The German government has approved a range of energy saving measures for businesses and households in a bid to prepare the country for expected energy supply bottlenecks. The regulation that primarily aims at reducing gas consumption for heating and electricity production is part of Germany’s effort to overcome its dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports. Economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said finding alternative sources to Russia would be one key pillar of overcoming dependence. “But saving much more gas will also be a substantial part of the solution: in public institutions, in business and in as many private households as possible,” Habeck said. This effort would include short- and long-term measures, some of which are planned to remain in place for at least the next two heating seasons until early 2024, Habeck’s ministry (BMWKsaid.

 The short-term measures taking effect by September for at least six months include: a reduction of the legal minimum room temperatures in offices and public buildings to 19 degrees Celsius (exceptions for schools, hospitals and other institutions), a heating ban for large indoor spaces that are not used continuously, such as foyers and lobbies, a ban on certain heater types for private swimming pools, a shutdown of water heating systems in public non-residential buildings, a reduction of the illumination of public landmarks and buildings, the mandatory closing of entrance doors in heated shops, and a ban on illuminated advertisements. Some of the measures had previously been announced and some still need approval by Germany’s council of states. “A focus will be on measures implemented by the state in order to act as a role model and provide orientation regarding feasible and practicable measures,” the ministry said.

The long-term measures, starting in October and remaining effective for two years, include mandatory heating system maintenance and optimisation or an obligation for companies with an energy use greater than 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year to implement efficiency measures.

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