Rules by regulation: Habeck: Only 19 degrees in public buildings

The gas storage facilities are filling up, but the federal government wants massive amounts of energy to be saved in winter.

Rules by regulation: Habeck: Only 19 degrees in public buildings

The gas storage facilities are filling up, but the federal government wants massive amounts of energy to be saved in winter. Minister Habeck announces a series of specifications. They relate to the room temperatures in public facilities and the lighting at night.

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has announced regulations for saving energy. Among other things, "in public properties - hospitals, social facilities of course excluded - should only be heated to 19 degrees," Habeck told the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". The ministry will "issue regulations on the Energy Security Act".

In addition, buildings and monuments should no longer be illuminated at night and advertising systems should not be illuminated. "More savings are also needed in the world of work," said Habeck. This is currently being discussed with the Ministry of Labor and the social partners.

In July, Habeck presented the cornerstones of a new energy security package against the background of severely curtailed Russian gas supplies. It said that it was important that gas consumption also decrease in companies, office buildings and private households. To this end, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is planning additional energy and efficiency measures on the basis of the Energy Security Act in close coordination with other departments of the Federal Government. For public facilities and office buildings, this should be regulated in the course of ordinances. A period of six months is envisaged for this measure.

Spain has already adopted a comprehensive package of energy saving measures. Since the end of May, public buildings and, more recently, shops, cultural institutions, airports and train stations should not be cooled below 27 degrees and only heated to a maximum of 19 degrees in winter. Shop windows should no longer be illuminated after closing time and the lights in public buildings should be switched off when they are not in use.

The EU gas emergency plan went into effect on Tuesday. From the beginning of August to March next year, the member countries have to save 15 percent on gas - compared to the average of the past five years of this period. How the 27 EU countries lower their demand is up to them.

The regulation provides for numerous exceptions for states and "critical sectors of the economy" such as the food industry. In view of the exceptions, Germany will probably have to save significantly more gas than other countries in order to prevent massive problems for the industry or even a recession in the event of a possible Russian gas supply stop. The German savings target is 20 percent. In Germany, some gas-fired power plants also supply electricity or district heating.

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