Energy crisis to leave Britons following in Germany’s ‘striking’ example this winter
German cities have imposed cold showers in swimming pools and sports halls, and turned off lights on public monuments as part of the energy-saving measures taken by the German government to push back on Russia‘s decision to significantly reduce gas flows into the EU. Energy expert Robert Buckley from Cornwall Insight reacted to the German initiative and warned the UK is “in danger of running into this kind of [measures] voluntarily”. He explained the cost of the crisis that the UK is now facing will lead to businesses being unable to “afford to run” and warned “businesses might themselves decide not to heat swimming pools”.
Mr Buckley told BBC Radio 4 Today: “We’re in danger of running into this kind of [measures] voluntarily.
“There is also a cost of business crisis here, because of these energy cost increases.
“We will go into a period where energy prices for business may be five, six or seven times where they’ve been historically.
“What you’ll end up there is that businesses can’t afford to run.
“Businesses might themselves decide not to heat swimming pools or whatever.”
BBC Radio 4 Today host Mishal Husain asked Mr Buckley: “Parts of Germany, including Berlin, are taking some quite striking measures to try and conserve energy for example cold showers or not lighting up monuments at night.
“If we did that kind of thing, could we affect the prices we pay for energy in the winter?”
He responded: “I think at the margin it might make a difference.
“I think that the fact that the Germans are having this conversation is really constructive for them.
“It’s a conversation that actually we should be having more of over here”.
The comments came as cities in Germany have started switching off lights on public monuments and imposing cold showers on swimming pools and sport halls.
The initiatives are part of the energy-saving measures that the German government has taken in response to Russia’s decision to reduce gas exports into the EU.
Hanover, in northwest Germany, was the first city on Wednesday to impose the measures, including using cold water in showers and bathrooms in city-run buildings and leisure centres.
In Berlin lights on about 200 public monuments and buildings were turned off on Wednesday.
Berlin’s senator for the environment Bettina Jarasch said: “In the face of the war against Ukraine and Russia’s energy threat it is vital that we handle our energy as carefully as possible”.
The city of Munich also announced its intention to turn off lights on its town hall and have cold water at municipal buildings in response to the Russian energy threat.