BERLIN — German companies and public institutions should not heat their offices more than 19 degrees Celsius (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit) this winter to help reduce the country’s natural gas consumption, Germany’s economy minister said on Saturday.
Germany, the European Union’s largest economy, is trying to quickly get rid of its use of natural gas from Russia in response to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine. However, Germany uses more Russian gas imports than many other EU countries. Russia has already halted gas exports to several EU countries, and officials fear Moscow will use gas exports as a political weapon to ease sanctions against Russia — or even halt exports to Europe altogether over the winter, when demand hits it. greatest .
Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that while the EU’s 27 countries have pledged to reduce their gas consumption by 15% from August compared to the previous five-year average, Germany must reduce its consumption by 20%.
Habeck also proposes banning the heating of non-commercial private pools; turning off heating in common areas of public buildings, such as foyers; and turning off the lights on public billboards between 10pm and 6am
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