According to estimates by the Federal Network Agency, household gas consumption is currently increasing too much. In the past week, the consumption of households and small businesses was well above the average consumption of the corresponding weeks of the previous year, the authorities reported in Bonn.
The numbers are "very sobering". "Without significant savings in the private sector, too, it will be difficult to avoid a gas shortage in winter," said Network Agency President Klaus Müller, according to a statement.
The past week was colder than the weeks of the previous year. Consumption is always snapshots and can change quickly. However, savings would also have to be made if temperatures continued to fall, emphasized Müller. "It's not a sure-fire success."
Three prerequisites for getting through the winter well
In view of the well-filled reservoirs, one can get through the winter well under three conditions. On the one hand, projects to increase gas imports, such as the construction of LNG terminals, would have to be implemented. On the other hand, the gas supply in our neighboring countries must also remain stable. "And thirdly, gas must be saved, even if it gets even colder in the winter. It will depend on every individual," Müller continued.
Last week, however, it was 483 gigawatt hours, 14.5 percent above the average value for this week in the years 2018 to 2021. The Federal Network Agency currently assumes that a reduction in consumption of at least 20 percent is necessary to avoid a gas shortage.
What happens if there isn't enough gas for everyone?
In the event of a gas shortage, not all consumers in Germany can be supplied with gas. The Federal Network Agency will then have to decide who gets gas and who doesn't. Household customers, kindergartens, schools, universities, hospitals, retirement homes and medical practices, the police and fire brigade, the armed forces, electricity and water suppliers, waste disposal, but also many small and medium-sized companies in the areas of trade, commerce and services are particularly protected.
The remaining 60 percent of gas consumption in Germany is accounted for by large industrial customers. Their consumption in August was 22 percent below the average for the years 2018-2021. In the past week (calendar week 38), consumption was even 30 percent below the average value.
The Federal Network Agency intends to publish weekly figures on gas consumption by households and industry in Germany with immediate effect.