These new energy-saving rules apply from today

Concerned about possible energy bottlenecks, the government is also turning small screws: as of this Thursday, a number of energy-saving requirements will come into force that are intended to reduce consumption over the next six months. It is a “joint task of politicians, companies and consumers”, according to the text of the regulation, which the cabinet passed last week.

“Each kilowatt hour saved helps a little bit out of the dependency on Russian gas supplies.” Together with other requirements that will apply from October 1st, according to Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), gas consumption should be reduced by around two to two and a half percent . The rules applicable from September 1 in detail.

The following applies to public buildings:

  • Transit areas such as corridors, foyers or technical rooms are no longer heated – unless there are safety reasons for this.
  • Public buildings are only heated to a maximum of 19 degrees – with physically light and predominantly sedentary work. So far, the recommended minimum temperature according to the ministry was 20 degrees. An upper limit of 18 degrees applies to work rooms in which people carry out light work “predominantly standing or walking” or medium-heavy and predominantly seated work, for medium-heavy work predominantly standing or walking it is 16 degrees and for physically heavy work 12 degrees. The new regulation does not apply to clinics, care facilities or other social institutions.
  • Boilers and instantaneous water heaters may no longer be used to heat water at the washbasin – unless this is required for reasons of hygiene.
  • The lighting of buildings and monuments for purely aesthetic or representative reasons will be switched off. Excluded are short-term lighting at cultural events and folk festivals.

The following applies to workplaces in the private sector:

  • The ordinance does not stipulate that, for example, the room temperature in offices must be reduced – but it does allow employers to heat less in the commercial sector with legal certainty and have the opportunity to follow the example of the public sector. This is the basis for voluntary commitments by companies and company agreements to save energy.

The following applies to the private sector or business:

  • Clauses in leases that stipulate a certain minimum temperature are temporarily suspended.
  • Private pools, whether indoors or outdoors, are no longer allowed to be heated with gas and electricity
  • Gas suppliers and owners of larger residential buildings must inform their customers or tenants at an early stage – about the expected energy consumption, its costs and potential savings. This should happen by the start of the heating season at the latest.
  • Neon signs and billboards are switched off from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the following day – if this is not necessary for traffic safety, such as at railway underpasses. The idea behind it: Because it is bright during the day anyway, the lighting should only be allowed to be switched on again for six hours in the afternoon.
  • Shop doors or other “entrance systems” to heated business premises in retail may no longer remain open permanently – unless this is necessary to keep an escape route open.


The article is in German

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