11 Apr 2023, 13:31
Julian Wettengel

Germany's short term energy saving measures run out

Clean Energy Wire / WDR

Key short-term energy saving rules are set to run out this week, as Germany has come out of a comparably mild winter and managed to avoid a severe gas shortage. A key regulation with nationwide provisions that the federal government introduced in mid-2022 is set to end on 15 April. While several cities have announced that buildings would again be illuminated, others aim to continue efforts to save energy, writes public broadcaster WDR. In light of the climate crisis and Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, it would be “the wrong signal” to let the city of Cologne shine as brightly as it did just over a year ago, said city director Andrea Blome. WDR reports that it is unclear how effective the energy saving measures in the public sector were nationwide.

Faced with record-high energy prices and fears of a shortage in the winter, the government had introduced short term and longer-term energy saving provisions in late summer 2022. Germany and Europe were grappling with the fallout of Russia’s war against Ukraine on energy supply, as Russia halted pipeline gas supplies to the bloc’s biggest economy. Among various other things, a regulation had stipulated that the legal minimum room temperature in offices and public buildings was to be reduced from 20 to 19 degrees Celsius and that tenants could lower temperatures in their flats as they saw fit without adhering to contractually agreed minimum heating temperatures. It was also agreed that public landmarks and buildings should not be illuminated. The regulation was originally set to last for up for six months, but the government extended it earlier this year.

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