Energy regulator urges Germans to prepare for possible gas shortages

Federal Grid Agency Chairman Klaus Mueller has asked home and apartment owners to check and adjust their gas boilers and heaters to maximize their efficiency.

“Maintenance can reduce gas consumption by 10-15%,” Klaus Mueller told German newspaper Funke Mediengruppe.

Mueller advised residents and homeowners to take advantage of the 12 weeks before cold snaps to prepare, noting that families should now begin to assess “whether each room needs to be adjusted to its normal winter temperature or whether certain rooms could be a little cooler.”

The call from the head of the Federal Network Agency comes after Russia decided earlier this month to cut gas flows to Germany, Italy, Austria, Czechia and Slovakia.

Russian state energy company Gazprom justified the reduction of natural gas flowing in Nord Stream 1, a gas pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, with a technical problem, adding that the equipment being restoration in Canada was blocked in the country due to Western sanctions. about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

German leaders rejected this explanation and saw the gas flow cuts as a political decision in reaction to EU sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also Minister for the Economy and Climate and responsible for energy, warned that a “blockage” of the gas pipeline is possible from July 11, the date on which the works of regular maintenance must begin, recalling that in previous summers, the intervention involved stopping Nord Stream 1 for around 10 days.

The head of Germany’s energy regulator said the question is whether the upcoming regular maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline will turn into “longer political maintenance”.

If the flow of gas from Russia is “sustainably reduced, we will have to talk more seriously about the economy”, warned Klaus Mueller, assuring that in the event of an interruption in the gas supply, private homes will be specially protected. , such as hospitals or nursing homes.

“I can promise that we will do everything we can to prevent private homes from running out of gas,” reinforced the president of the Federal Network Agency, noting: “We have learned from the coronavirus crisis that ‘you shouldn’t make promises if you don’t do it’. sure we can keep them”.

Mueller also said the German energy regulator “does not see a scenario where there is no more gas coming into Germany.”

German chemicals and consumer products company Henkel also said today that it is considering encouraging employees to work from home in the winter in response to a possible supply shortage, a measure that will “sharply reduce the temperature in the offices”.

Earlier this month, Economy Minister Robert Habeck activated the second phase of Germany’s three-stage emergency plan for natural gas supplies, warning that the biggest economy in Europe was facing a “crisis” and winter storage targets were in jeopardy.



Elmer Hayward

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