The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, has made it clear that in the event of a Russian gas supply stop, not only private households but also facilities such as the fire brigade, hospitals, the police, schools, day-care centers, prisons and the German armed forces would be among the protected customers.
For private households, a consumption of up to 10,000 kilowatt hours of gas per year is a guideline: “This also covers professional or commercial purposes in private households, for example self-employed people,” said Müller of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. Commercial establishments such as supermarkets or bakeries, which consume up to 1.5 million kilowatt hours of gas per year, should also be protected against a gas shutdown.
Above all, leisure facilities such as swimming pools and fun pools are the first to have to prepare for a shutdown, Müller explained: “If an emergency arises, it makes sense to first intervene in the leisure sector before we reduce or shut down industrial companies, where yes many jobs and also important products are hanging”.
Against the background of the Ukraine war, the Federal Network Agency is preparing for the fact that Germany will not have sufficient gas available after a supply stop by Russia. While households would continue to be supplied, the focus is on the economy.
Although large parts of Germany do not have to fear rationing, “it must be made clear that the gas shortage is a real crisis. Life is then no longer happy and relaxed, and I am therefore sure that such interventions would be understood,” said Müller of the “FAZ”. He spoke for the first time about six criteria that should determine whether large industrial consumers should be switched off in the event of a gas emergency.
On the one hand, the size of the company and the urgency of the measure are decisive. The approximately 2500 businesses in the leisure sector, which account for more than 10 megawatt hours per hour, would account for the majority of the total industrial gas consumption in Germany. In addition, some companies need more lead time to be able to reduce their consumption.
The aim of the step-by-step plan is also to keep the economic and business damage as low as possible. “In the ceramics industry, for example, the production facilities freeze and break down when there is no gas. We also take into account the costs and the time it takes to put the system back into operation,” explained the Network Agency President.
Supplying the general public with food or medicines is of primary importance. “It is important to find the fastest possible solution in the specific situation with the least possible damage. It won’t be easy.”