Energy is becoming scarcer and scarcer, so perhaps small steps and austerity measures will help to get through the coming cold season reasonably well – at least the government hopes. And since Thursday, the country has been delighted with a series of energy-saving targets. With their help, consumption is to be throttled over the next six months.
“Every kilowatt hour saved helps a little bit out of the dependency on Russian gas supplies,” says the regulation. According to Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), gas consumption is to be reduced by around two to two and a half percent, together with other requirements that will apply from October 1st. Here are the rules that will apply from September 1st in detail.
Transit areas such as corridors, foyers or technical rooms in public buildings are no longer heated – unless there are safety reasons for this.
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In public buildings, the temperature is reduced
Public buildings are only heated to a maximum of 19 degrees – with light physical activity and mostly 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.
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Lights out at monuments!
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.
For workplaces in the private sector, the ordinance does not stipulate that room temperatures in offices, for example, have to be reduced – but it does make it possible for 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.
Some things are also changing in the private sector and in business: Clauses in rental contracts 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.
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At the latest at the beginning of the heating season, gas suppliers and owners of larger residential buildings must inform their customers or tenants about the expected energy consumption, its costs and possible savings.
It’s getting darker on the streets
Neon signs and billboards are switched off from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the following day – unless this is 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.