Germany is looking into the possibility of Russia cutting natural gas supplies, and some cities are bracing for the scenario that hot water for private households will have to be rationed before winter.
On Saturday, the chairman of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Mueller, called on Germans to save energy and prepare for winter, when consumption increases. He urged them to use the 12 weeks before winter to have their gas boilers and radiators checked, noting that maintenance “can reduce gas consumption by 10-15%.
The Hamburg state government’s environment senator also expressed concern and said he could not rule out that the northern German city would have to limit hot water for private households in the event gas shortage.
“In the event of a severe gas shortage, hot water could only be available at certain times of the day,” Jens Kerstan told the weekly Welt am Sonntag.
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Russia cut gas flows to Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia earlier this month as European Union countries scramble to fill storage facilities with the fuel used to generate electricity, the electrical industry and to heat homes in winter.
Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom has blamed a technical problem on the reduction of natural gas flowing through Nord Stream 1. German leaders dismissed the explanation and called the cuts a political decision in reaction to European Union sanctions against Russia. after its attack on Ukraine. .
Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also Germany’s economy and climate minister and responsible for energy, warned last month that a Nord Stream 1 blockage is possible from July 11, when works regular maintenance must begin. In previous summers, work caused the pipeline to shut down for about 10 days, he said.
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The question is whether the upcoming scheduled maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will turn into “longer political maintenance,” said the energy regulator’s Mueller.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.