Sunday , 21 July 2024
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Global Economy

Measures to save energy decided

Starting in September, various measures are to be used in Germany to save more energy. The Federal Cabinet in Berlin has passed a corresponding ordinance for this purpose. The measures should apply for six months.

From the end of next week, public buildings can generally only be heated to a maximum of 19 degrees. Until now, the recommended minimum temperature for offices was 20 degrees. Transit areas such as corridors, foyers or technical rooms should not be heated at all if possible. It is also planned to switch off the lighting of buildings and monuments when this is done for purely aesthetic or representative reasons.

"Door closed" at shops and dark shop windows

The image of the shopping arcades will also change noticeably. According to the new regulation, shop doors may no longer be left open all the time in order to avoid wasting heating energy. Shop windows must remain dark between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Advertising systems should also be switched off during this time, but not at bus stops and in railway station underpasses.

The retail trade has already adapted to the bans. The industry association HDE launched a poster campaign – to read "doors closed, business open". In this way, retailers want to prevent fewer customers coming into the shop because of closed shop doors.

Restrictions also apply to private individuals

There are also restrictions on private individuals: they are no longer allowed to heat their pools with gas and electricity. Provisions in rental contracts about a certain minimum temperature are temporarily suspended.

At the latest at the beginning of the heating season, gas suppliers and owners of larger residential buildings must inform customers or tenants about the energy consumption to be expected, the associated costs and potential savings.

"Independent of Russian energy supplies"

"The federal government is consistently pursuing its policy of becoming independent of Russian energy supplies," said Economics Minister Robert Habeck. It is very important to save significantly more gas – in public administration, in companies and in as many private households as possible.

"We are facing a national effort, and it requires strong interaction between the state, business and society, the federal, state, local authorities, social partners, trade unions, trade and associations as well as civil society. Every contribution counts," he emphasized.

Another ordinance that the cabinet has also passed still needs the approval of the Federal Council and is to apply for two years from October. Among other things, it provides for mandatory annual heating inspections for buildings with gas heating.

Savings of around 20 percent are necessary

Overall, savings of around 20 percent compared to the pre-crisis period in consumption are considered a condition for Germany to get through the winter without gas rationing. Industry and the residential and building sector should contribute another five to ten percent – for example by voluntarily reducing private room temperatures by two degrees.

Three to five percent savings are planned by replacing gas-fired power plants with coal or oil. Up to eight percent have already been saved as a result of the high prices.

Union rejects lower minimum temperatures

IG Metall again spoke out against the lower minimum temperatures that had been decided in work rooms. Lowering the room temperature below the healthy level in autumn could not only pose a risk to employees, warned board member Hans-Jürgen Urban.

"High levels of sick leave could also be a boomerang for the economy. And it doesn't take much imagination to imagine the productivity-dampening effect of scarves and gloves in everyday office life," he added.

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