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German households and businesses need to turn down the level of heating in order to conserve more gas as winter is coming while gas flows from Russia are cut, Klaus Müller, the president of the German Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur, said on Friday.
Residential consumers should “perhaps not turn the heating up all the way and think carefully about which rooms need to be heated,” Müller told public broadcaster ARD in an interview.
The head of the network regulator isn’t concerned about physical shortages yet but said consumers should take the matter seriously.
“Concerned would be going a bit too far” right now, Müller told ARD, but noted that the regulator would monitor the situation with the gas consumption in the coming days.
The regulator has been urging households and businesses for months that they would need to cut consumption by 20% for Germany to save enough gas and minimize disruptions caused by the lack of gas flows from Russia.
In the week to December 4, Germany saved too little gas compared to the 20% goal, Müller said on Thursday. Consumption from industry fell by 12% and household demand was down by 13%, compared to total industry and household savings of 21% in the previous week.
The trend of too little gas-saving should not continue, Müller noted.
Germany may have to take drastic measures such as gas rationing if levels of gas in storage drop below 40% by February 1 next year, according to the regulator, which will enact such measures if necessary. If gas storage levels drop to below 40% by February 1, this would be considered a critical level, Müller said last month. The critical gas storage level could trigger a further response for energy conservation in Germany, including a possible gas rationing.
Germany is currently in a stage-two level of alert and could go into a level-three emergency if gas stocks fall to critically low levels.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.