Germany's energy saving rules: what you need to know
The German government has approved a set of energy saving measures for the winter which limit the use of lighting and heating in public buildings.
The Energy Saving Ordinance came into force on 1st September and will apply until the end of February.
In case you’re wondering what’s changed, we’ve written a quick blog post explaining everything you need to know.
Why have the rules been put in place?
The measures have come in response to rising energy prices and dwindling oil and natural gas imports from Russia.
The government is encouraging consumers and businesses to save energy in any way they can to prevent a shortage during the winter months.
With the new rules, they hope to reduce gas usage by around 2% and save private households, companies and the public sector around €10.8 billion ($10.7 billion) over the next two years.
What are the measures?
The new measures mean that as of 1st September:
- Offices and public buildings – with the exception of places like hospitals – can only be heated to 19°C, and halls and corridors should generally not be heated
- Buildings and monuments can no longer be lit up at night unless necessary
- Water heaters or hot water tanks should be switched off if they’re mainly used for washing hands
- Retail stores can’t keep their doors open throughout the day
- Illuminated advertising needs to be turned off after 10pm
- Private pools can’t be heated with gas or electricity
A second set of rules is due to come into force in October and will apply for two years.
It’s expected to stipulate longer-term energy saving measures. For example, gas heating systems will need to be regularly inspected and inefficient pumps will need to be replaced.
Companies that use more than 10 gigawatt hours per year will also need to introduce their own energy saving measures – sounds like they’ll need Metrikus’ energy monitoring solution!
Will we see similar initiatives popping up across the rest of Europe? Only time will tell, but whatever happens, every company needs to be focusing on reducing their energy consumption this winter.