German government introduces new energy-saving measures
From a ban on heating private pools, to shops being obliged to shut their doors to prevent heat escaping, here’s everything you need to know about Germany’s new energy-saving regulations.
New energy-saving rules introduced for German residents
As Germany rushes to ensure its gas supplies for the winter, and with energy prices soaring, several German cities have begun implementing energy-saving measures such as turning off lights at monuments and regulating office temperatures. Despite this, the German cabinet has decided to also impose rules on residents, businesses and other public institutions.
The rules also focus on cutting down electricity consumption, since gas is used to generate electricity. German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck has called for unity throughout German society in order to overcome the energy crisis. “We are facing a national effort, and it needs a strong interplay between the state, business and society; between the federal government, the states, local authorities, social partners, trade unions, associations, and civil society,” he said, according to a press release from the German government. “Every contribution counts.”
Germany’s new energy-saving rules
The new measures have been approved through two ordinances, both of which are based on the Energy Security Act. The first ordinance will come into force from the start of September and will initially apply for six months, it includes the following measures:
- Tenants in Germany have more scope to save energy – such as turning the heating down past the stipulated minimum temperature
- Ban on heating private pools using gas or electricity
- Offices in public buildings will only be heated to 19 degrees Celsius. Halls and corridors should not be heated if at all possible
- Public buildings (excluding hospitals and other care centres) will only have cold water available for hand washing
- Monuments and public buildings will remain dark at night
- Energy providers and landlords should inform tenants about ways to save energy and talk to them about energy costs
- Illuminated advertising systems cannot be used from 10pm to 4pm the following day. This does not apply to lights used for road safety or other potential hazards, such as advertising lights in passenger waiting rooms.
- Shops will have to keep doors closed to avoid heat escaping
Further measures to be introduced soon
The second ordinance still has to be approved by the Bundesrat. It will apply until 2024 and will require gas heating systems to be regularly inspected and inefficient pumps to be replaced. The ordinance will also require companies that use more than 10-gigawatt hours per year to introduce their own energy-saving measures.
Another legal ordinance by the economic and transport ministries has also been approved by the cabinet. This ordinance gives priority to the transportation of energy by rail to ensure power plants and refineries can continue to operate.