Additional energy saving measures approved

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Federal Cabinet Additional energy saving measures approved

The Cabinet has approved additional energy-saving measures that will help secure the energy supply in the short and medium term. Among other things, less office space is to be heated, while buildings, monuments and advertising installations are no longer to be illuminated at certain times.

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Photo shows the Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate in darkness during Earth Hour: the illumination of monuments is prohibited unless it is necessary to maintain traffic safety or to avert other dangers.

Photo: IMAGO/epd/Rolf Zoellner

Policymakers, businesses and consumers must continue to work together to avoid an energy emergency this winter: every kilowatt-hour saved – whether by public institutions, private citizens or businesses – helps avoid dependence on Russian gas supplies.

The provisions of the short- and medium-term energy-saving plan approved on Wednesday provides a framework for this. It sets out concrete measures for both this winter and the following winter which are aimed at public bodies as well as companies and private households. In addition to gas savings, the plan includes measures to reduce power consumption, since this will help reduce the need for gas-fired electricity.

A national effort is required

“The Federal Government is consistently pursuing its policy to become independent of Russian energy supplies,” said Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. “But it’s also essential to save significantly more gas: in public administration, in businesses and in as many private households as possible. The provisions approved by the Cabinet today make an important contribution to this. A national effort is required on the part of the state, industry and society at large – including the Federal Government and the Länder, the municipalities, social partners, the trade unions, craft trades and associations, as well as civil society. Every little helps.”

The energy-saving measures also contribute to achieving European Union’s savings targets. In view of the gas shortage artificially caused by Russia, the EU states have committed themselves to reducing their gas consumption by at least 15 percent from August this year. 

Here is an overview of the energy-saving measures that have been approved (short-term measures, medium-term measures)

Information about gas price increases to be made available more quickly

Tenants can voluntarily lower the room temperatures in their apartments even if a minimum temperature has been contractually agreed that is higher than would be necessary to protect the building from damage.

Consumers are to be informed more quickly about the extent of gas price increases for their heating so as to motivate them to be more economical. Private swimming and bathing pools may no longer use energy-intensive heating.

Less office space to be heated and hot water to be turned off

In workplaces, the minimum room temperature is to be lowered by one degree Celsius. In public workplaces, this will also be the maximum temperature. A maximum of 19 degrees is permitted. Communal areas where people are not permanently present may no longer be heated.

Where hot water is only used for washing hands, it is to be switched off or the temperature reduced to the minimum hygienic level.

Lighting on buildings, monuments and advertising to be limited

The use of luminous or light-emitting advertising installations will be prohibited for certain periods. This reduces unnecessary energy consumption, especially in the commerce, trade and service sectors.

The illumination of buildings and monuments is prohibited unless it is necessary to maintain traffic safety or to avert other dangers.

Heating systems to be optimised

Building owners will be required to optimise the heating systems on their premises. This includes an inspection of the heating system for fundamental adjustment defects as well as carrying out a check to see if other measures are needed. Owners of larger buildings are to be obliged to have the heating system hydraulically balanced in order to achieve energy savings.