In view of a possible impending energy shortage in winter, the cities are working on contingency plans and examining gas-saving measures that are to be implemented now.
“If the gas tap is turned off in Germany, private households are among the particularly protected customers – so energy would only be rationed for them last,” said the deputy general manager of the German Association of Cities, Verena Göppert, the German Press Agency. It would be even better if the gas supplies were sufficient and restrictions were not necessary at all.
In the current situation, saving energy is a task for society as a whole. The cities are therefore currently examining many short-term savings measures, said Göppert. They “leave out lights, for example, do without hot water in public buildings, turn off fountains, regulate the temperature of air conditioning and bathing water differently”.
In addition, the cities with their crisis management teams and the municipal suppliers are developing crisis plans in the event that the federal government should declare the gas emergency level and gas should be rationed, according to the city council. There is also close coordination with the federal government, the federal states and the Federal Network Agency. Göppert emphasized: “One thing is clear: nobody should have to freeze in winter.”
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When asked about possible precautions for an energy shortage at the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), a spokeswoman for the dpa said: “With regard to gas shortages, the experts in the area of critical infrastructure are very vigilant and are in constant contact with the Federal Network Agency .” The aim is to “be able to assess the situation precisely and, if necessary, to draw conclusions for civil protection”.
The joint competence center of the federal and state governments at the BBK, which is still under construction, initially focused on the creation of a uniform picture of the situation. Assessments and decisions would then be possible on this basis should the situation deteriorate.
The Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 was shut down on Monday for maintenance work. Maintenance usually takes up to ten days. The big worry is that Russia won’t turn on the gas tap again.