Germans Should Prepare for Gas Shortage, Regulator Warns

Germans must start saving energy to prepare for winter, when use increases, the head of Germany’s regulatory agency for energy warned over the weekend expressing fears that Russia might cut off natural gas supplies.

Reminding them that regular maintenance can reduce gas consumption by 10 to 15 percent, Federal Network Agency President Klaus Mueller urged house and apartment owners in Germany to check their gas boilers and radiators and adjust them in order to maximize their efficiency.

According to Mueller, German property owners have 12 weeks to get ready before cold weather sets in and consider well if they should set every room at its usual temperature in the winter or they can leave some rooms to be a little colder.

His warning and appeal come in light of the reduced gas flow earlier this month from Russia to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia Italy, Austria that the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom blamed a technical problem for.

According to Gazprom’s explanation, the main reason for the reduction in natural gas is the stalled refurbishing of the pipeline which runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, Nord Stream 1, equipment for which is stuck in Canada because of the Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, the reductions are a political move in reaction to the European Union’s sanctions against Russia in the eyes of German leaders, which rejected Gazprom’s explanation.

Germany’s economy and climate minister and responsible for energy, Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, warned about a blockade of the Nord Stream 1 starting July 11. He activated earlier this month the second phase of Germany’s three-stage emergency plan for natural gas supplies.

Meanwhile, European Union member countries are maximizing their efforts to refill storage facilities with the fuel used to generate electricity, power industry, and heat homes in the winter.

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