In the gas crisis, the federal government wants to equip Germany with a further package of measures for greater energy security. Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck presented the various points in Berlin. It includes higher levels of gas storage and savings measures for both private consumers and companies.
The background is the ongoing uncertainty in the gas supply from Russia, according to Habeck. He accused Moscow of blackmail. "We need staying power," said Habeck. Winter is yet to come and the following winter will also bring challenges.
As part of his measures, Habeck wants to increase the gas storage levels by five percentage points compared to the previous specifications – by September 1 to 75 percent, by October 1 to 85 percent and by November 1 to 95 percent. This should prevent gas from being sold from the 23 storage facilities in Germany.
Habeck wants to oblige companies to save energy by regulation. For example, rooms in which people no longer spend time, such as corridors or entrance foyers, should not be heated in winter.
Habeck also spoke of a gas saving regulation in order to take gas out of the market if possible. Together with the Ministry of Transport, there should be a regulation that gives preference to coal and oil in rail transport.
No minimum temperature in private apartments
In private households, tenants should be released from the obligation to heat their apartment to a minimum temperature. If they are away or think the temperature is too high, they should be able to set the temperature lower themselves than previously prescribed.
In addition, it should be forbidden for homeowners to heat private pools with gas "over this winter". At the same time, Habeck contradicted the fear of state heating controls in private households. "I don't think now that the police will visit all pool owners and see if the pools are warm," emphasized the minister.
Heating check and lignite power plants
Habeck also announced a mandatory heating check. Owners of gas heaters should be obliged to do so. If you do such a check, you can optimize your heating. In multi-family houses there should be a hydraulic balance so that the heating water is optimally distributed.
To secure the supply, the Economics Minister also wants to bring lignite-fired power plants back on line. From October 1st, the lignite reserve will be activated in addition to the hard coal, the Greens politician announced. The lignite power plants concerned could then return to the electricity market and replace natural gas power plants.
More home office
The use of home office work should be expanded in consensus with employers and employees. "The situation remains tense, so we are stepping up our efforts again. We should work on that with combined forces," said Habeck.
After ten days of maintenance, gas has been flowing through the central Nord Stream 1 pipeline again since today – but only at the greatly reduced level of before the maintenance. "The 40 percent cannot make us feel safe," warned Habeck. "That's why it's important to keep sharpening the political instruments."
Habeck's ministry pointed out that the approach to energy savings is in line with the EU Commission's efforts to reduce energy consumption. According to the Brussels plans, the member states should voluntarily reduce their gas demand by 15 percent by March