Energy regulator urges Germans to prepare for potential gas shortages

The president of the German energy regulator on Saturday urged residents to save energy and prepare for the winter, when consumption increases, amid fears that Russia could cut off natural gas supplies.

Klaus Mueller, president of the Federal Network Agency, has asked home and apartment owners to check and adjust their gas water heaters and radiators to maximize their efficiency.

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

Mueller advised residents and homeowners to take advantage of the 12 weeks before the cold hits to prepare, noting that families should now begin assessing “whether each room should be adjusted to normal winter temperatures or whether some rooms might be a little cooler”.

The call from the chairman of the Federal Network Agency comes after Russia decided earlier this month to reduce gas flows to Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom justified cutting natural gas flow through Nord Stream 1, a gas pipeline that runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, with a technical problem, adding that equipment being repaired in Canada was stranded in the country due to Western sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

German leaders rejected this statement, deeming the reduction in gas flows a political move in response to EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, also Minister of Economy and Climate and responsible for energy, warned that a “blockage” of the gas pipeline is possible from July 11, when regular maintenance work is to begin, recalling that in previous summers, the intervention included shutting down Nord Stream 1 for about 10 days.

The head of the German energy regulator said the question was whether the upcoming regular maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will culminate in “a longer political maintenance”.

If the gas flow from Russia is “reduced for a long period of time, we will have to talk more seriously about the economy,” Klaus Mueller warned, assuring that, in the event of a gas supply interruption, private homes would 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,” stressed the chairman of the Federal Network Agency, noting: “We have learned from the coronavirus crisis that we should not make any promises if we not sure we can keep them”.

Mueller also said the German energy regulator “doesn’t see a scenario where no more gas arrives in Germany”.

German chemical and consumer products company Henkel also said today that it is considering encouraging employees to work from home during the winter in response to a potential supply shortage, a measure that will allow “greatly lowering the temperature in offices”.

Earlier this month, Economy Minister Robert Habeck activated the second phase of Germany’s three-step emergency plan for natural gas supplies, warning that Europe’s largest economy was facing a “crisis” and that winter storage targets are at risk. came.

Author: DN/Lusa

Source: El heraldo

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