Hamburg Official Tells Residents Prepare For Hot Water Rationing Amid Energy Crisis
The second-largest city in Germany is mulling over the potential rationing of hot water as the energy crisis worsens.
"In an acute gas shortage, warm water could only be made available at certain times of the day in an emergency," Hamburg's environment senator Jens Kerstan told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag on Saturday.
Kerstan also spoke with the German daily newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt and warned, "We are in a much worse crisis than most people realize."
He asked Hamburg residents to reduce shower times, install energy-saving shower heads, and modernize thermostats for maximum power savings.
"The more we save now, the better the situation will be in winter because the storage tanks fill up," he added, referring to the need to save power so more NatGas injections can be made into storage ahead of the winter season.
Kerstan's possible hot water restrictions follow German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck's interview with Der Spiegel magazine last month that called for German citizens to shower less to overcome the worst energy crisis in a generation.
The German government's increasing talk about reducing shower time and conserving hot water comes as Russia reduced Nordstream NatGas flows by 60%. Germany is heavily reliant on cheap Russian Natgas, and fears mount that Europe's largest economy could face even more NatGas cuts later this summer.
Weeks ago, Germany triggered the "alarm stage" of its NatGas-emergency plan to address shortages. Yasmin Fahimi, the head of the German Federation of Trade Unions, warned over the weekend, "Because of the NatGas bottlenecks, entire industries are in danger of permanently collapsing: aluminum, glass, the chemical industry."
Fahimi warned: "Such a collapse would have massive consequences for the entire economy and jobs in Germany."
Germany's worsening energy crisis shows no signs of abating, and it seems probable that Hamburg residents could be showering in cold water.