The German city of Hanover has brought in strict new energy saving rules as fears grow over a winter energy crisis sparked by Vladimir Putin cutting gas supplies to Europe.
Officials will cut off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms.
Other gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and stopping illuminating major buildings such as the town hall at night.
Mayor Belit Onay tweeted: “The aim is to reduce our energy consumption by 15 percent.
“This is a reaction to the impending gas shortage, which poses a major challenge for the municipalities – especially for a large city like Hanover.”
Other measures being introduced include:
• Cutting times that the heating will be on in municipal buildings from October to March – excluding day-care centres
• Limiting room temperatures to a maximum of 20C, and 15C in sports halls and gyms
• Converting all lamps to LED
• Installing motion detectors instead of permanent lighting in toilet facilities, bicycle sheds and car parks and corridors
• Banning mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators
City authorities have also been urged to reduce the usage of a number of electrical devices such as printers and fridges.
And awareness of “economical heating and ventilation behaviour” has also been raised.
Other cities such as Munich, Leipzig, Cologne, and Nuremburg have brought in similar measures.
These measures are being brought in after Russia cut the flow of gas through the Nord Stream pipeline to just 20% of capacity.
The move, blamed by state-owned Gazprom on maintenance delays, has exacerbated fears that Europe’s reliance on Russian gas is being used as a weapon by the Kremlin in revenge for Western sanctions over the Ukraine invasion.
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Economists have warned that recession is inevitable in the event that heavy users of Russian gas, including Europe’s largest economy Germany, have to take extraordinary measures to ration supplies.
Berlin accused the Russian government of a “power play” through its management of Nord Stream 1.
The gas price situation, ultimately, threatens to exacerbate the cost of living crisis across Europe.