“The city has become the first major European city to switch off hot water in public buildings, with no warm water in washrooms and no hot showers at swimming pools and sports halls.”
The Germany city of Hanover has turned off hot water supply to public buildings after Russia this week slashed gas exports. The measures taken by the city include “cutting off of hot water supply to sports centers and gyms, outdoor pools and wash basins,” the German state broadcaster ZDF reported.
Public buildings, sports facilities and schools in Hanover will also be much colder as autumn approaches. The city has ordered “the room temperature (in public buildings) to be no more than 20°C (68°F),” and in “sport centers and gyms to 15°C (59°F),” the ZDF added.
The move will hit children the hardest. “Particularly children in kindergartens, students in schools and city employees will suffer the inconvenience due to reduced heating time, cold water and a maximum temperature of 20°C,” the broadcaster added.
The move comes as Russia, Europe’s biggest energy supplier, has drastically reduced the supply of gas through its pipelines. “Russia’s Gazprom on Wednesday halved the amount of natural gas flowing through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe to 20% of capacity,” the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported measures taken by Hanover:
Officials in the central German city of Hanover have announced plans to cut energy consumption by 15% ahead of the expected gas shortage this winter.
The city has become the first major European city to switch off hot water in public buildings, with no warm water in washrooms and no hot showers at swimming pools and sports halls.
Hanover joins other German communities in seeking to limit consumption as the threat of a full or partial shutoff of gas from Russia looms over sanctions and the war in Ukraine.
The city will limit the period in which public buildings are heated between October and March, with the maximum temperature generally set at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
In storage areas and on public transport, that maximum will be between 10 and 15 degrees. Heating, more generally, will be switched off or lowered in areas where it is not strictly necessary.
Sports halls and gyms would also be asked to limit heating to 15 degrees, with no more warm water when showering.
There will be no more outdoor lighting of public buildings, museums and sights, with wider efforts to limit permanent lighting inside buildings. Public fountains will also be shut down.
According to the German newspaper Bild, similar rationing measures have been rolled out by other German cities, such as Munich, Nuremberg and Leipzig.
This winter, German cities will not only be colder, they will also be darker. To cope with the energy shortfall, the city of Berlin has decided not to illuminate almost 200 of its landmark buildings and monuments. “The Berlin Cathedral, St. Mary’s Church, the Old Palace – all in the dark! From today onwards, these and other stately buildings and monuments of Berlin will not be illuminated,” the Bild reported Wednesday.
What is playing out in some German cities today could be the fate of entire Europe this winter. On Tuesday, 27 European countries endorsed a plan to enforce the rationing of gas across the European Union. EU member states “backed a voluntary 15% reduction in gas usage over the winter, a target that could become mandatory if the Kremlin ordered a complete shutdown of gas to Europe,” the British newspaper Guardian noted.
As Germany descends into cold and darkness, it is worth noting how arrogantly the German political class reacted to President Donald Trump’s warning over their growing energy dependence on Russian.
At the UN general assembly in September 2018, when President Trump warned Germany against becoming ‘totally dependent’ on the Russian gas supply, the German delegation, including the country’s foreign minister, publicly ridiculed him. “German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas could be seen smirking alongside his colleagues,” The Washington Post reported.DONATE
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