24 Oct 2023, 13:25
Jack McGovan

Half of Germany's population rejects heating less in winter, says saving potential exhausted last year – survey


Half of those living in Germany don’t want to use less energy to heat their homes than they did last year, with most arguing that they've already made all of the cuts they can, reports news agency dpa based on a survey it commissioned. Of the one third of respondents willing to use less energy to heat their living spaces, most are motivated by a desire to save money, followed by concerns that gas reserves will run empty, and finally worries about the climate crisis. Only a quarter of respondents said they would be willing to take fewer, shorter, or colder showers to save on energy consumption.

Last year’s mild winter and reduction in energy consumption meant that a gas shortage was avoided. German gas reserves were fuller at the start of the current heating period in October than they were in 2022, though a cold winter could mean a large jump in energy consumption. “It’s too early to give the all-clear,” said Klaus Müller, president of the German energy regulator BNetzA. “It’s important for the upcoming winter that people think about how much energy they can save.”

Analysis published earlier this month found that, although heating energy consumption fell by 10.6 percent last year, savings of household heating energy consumption were only 1.4 percent if adjusted for the warmer temperatures. Unrenovated homes, and those with poor insulation, struggled to reduce consumption.

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