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German Gas Giant Makes Headquarters Smaller And Colder To Save Energy

Germany’s gas major Uniper will reduce the use of office space at its headquarters by half and maintain lower temperatures in the space remaining in use, German media reported, as quoted by Reuters.

The measures that the company is taking are similar to what the EU is advising businesses and households to do in order to reduce their energy consumption this winter. They would also involve a reduction in lighting and turning off hot water where possible, aimed at cutting total energy use by 20 percent.

"Every kilowatt hour counts this winter," a company spokesman told a German daily.

The utility, which is the largest natural gas importer in Germany, has been struggling with energy supply and affordability challenges for months now and it eventually had to be nationalized by the Scholz government.

Earlier this year, the company booked a loss of $12.5 billion for the first half of the year and warned it was facing insolvency because of the losses it was still incurring on a daily basis because of the sharp drop in Russian gas deliveries.

The government first injected $15 billion into the utility to keep it afloat by acquiring a 30-percent stake and by increasing its credit line. This was not enough, however, and in September, the government and Uniper’s current majority shareholder, Finnish Fortum, agreed that Berlin will acquire 99 percent of Uniper.

Even this was not enough, however. Earlier this month, media reported that the government might have to inject another $39 billion into the gas major to keep it alive.

The reason for the new bailout is that the government scrapped plans to impose a gas tax on all consumers, which would have gone some way towards alleviating the complicated financial situation of Uniper and other energy utilities, according to the reports.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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