The federal government of Germany has given its approval to a package of energy-saving measures that will be implemented this winter.
These measures will restrict the amount of energy that can be used for lighting and heating in public buildings.
The new regulations are intended to bring about a 2% reduction in the total amount of gas consumed.
According to Germany’s Minister of the Economy, the regulations have the potential to save private households, companies, and the public sector approximately €10.8 billion (£9.1 billion) over the next two years.
This is a component of the larger plan to lessen the country’s reliance on gas imported from Russia.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany was getting 55% of its gas from Russia. Germany is only getting 35% of its gas from Russia, and it has vowed to stop importing gas altogether.
Despite this, it continues to be a significant market for Moscow, and in the first two months of the conflict, it paid nearly €9 billion (£7.7 billion; $9.6 billion) for Russian oil and gas.
Concerns have been raised that Russia may turn off the gas supply to Europe this winter as a result of its decision to reduce gas flows through the important Nordstream 1 pipeline to Germany to 20% of capacity.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s Minister of the Economy, recently stated to the press that his country’s goal was to “escape as quickly as possible from the grip of Russian energy imports.”
However, he continued by saying, “Overall, the [new] measures save energy.” On the other hand, not to the point where we can relax and say, “I guess that covers it for now.”
Beginning in September, the temperature inside public buildings, except for institutions such as hospitals, is to be kept at a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius, and the heating in entrances, corridors, and foyers may be turned off entirely.
It has been decided that public monuments and buildings will not be illuminated for aesthetic reasons, and businesses may be prohibited from keeping their stores lit up at night.
The heating of private swimming pools could also be made illegal. Additionally, the nation will prioritize transporting coal and oil cargo rather than passenger travel on railways, forcing passengers to wait in line.
The Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, stated that there is a shortage situation on the rails at the present time. “What this indicates is that if additional fuel transports are temporarily required, we will have no choice but to give priority to them,”