German cities impose cold showers and turn off lights amid Russian gas crisis

(The Guardian, 28 Jul 2022) Hanover is first large city to impose energy-saving measures and Berlin switches off monument spotlights.

Cities in Germany are switching off spotlights on public monuments, turning off fountains, and imposing cold showers on municipal swimming pools and sports halls, as the country races to reduce its energy consumption in the face of a looming Russian gas crisis.

Hanover in north-west Germany on Wednesday became the first large city to announce energy-saving measures, including turning off hot water in the showers and bathrooms of city-run buildings and leisure centres.

Municipal buildings in the Lower Saxony state capital will only be heated from 1 October to 31 March, at no more than 20C (68F) room temperature, and ban the use of mobile air conditioning units and fan heaters. Nurseries, schools, care homes and hospitals are to be exempt from the saving measures.

“The situation is unpredictable,” said the city’s mayaor, Belit Onay, of the Green party. “Every kilowatt hour counts, and protecting critical infrastructure has to be a priority.”

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The Guardian, 28 Jul 2022: German cities impose cold showers and turn off lights amid Russian gas crisis