(Bloomberg) -- The head of Germany’s BNetzA gas-network regulator asked households and companies to reduce heating as the country tries to conserve supplies in the wake of Russia cutting flows.
Citizens should “perhaps not turn the heating up all the way and think carefully about which rooms need to be heated,” BNetzA President Klaus Mueller said Friday in an interview with public broadcaster ARD.
Industrial gas consumption fell by 12% in the week through last Sunday and household and commercial consumption by 13%, said Mueller in a tweet on Thursday. He previously said Germany needs to cut gas consumption by at least 20% to help offset the loss of supplies from Russia.
“Yesterday’s numbers weren’t so great,” he said to ARD. “If it was merely a weekly blip then we can forget about it.”
Russia, which previously supplied about 40% of Europe’s energy needs, has slashed pipeline flows this year in retaliation for sanctions related to its invasion of Ukraine.
Mueller said he’s not yet worried about physical shortages.
“Concerned would be going a bit too far,” he said. “We’ll observe what happens in the next few days. But we shouldn’t treat this lightly.”
Europe’s biggest economy is getting gas at the moment from Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, he said, and “a bit” from France. It will get more via liquefied natural gas import terminals, which the country has started to build.
“We want at all costs to protect industry from gas rationing,” Mueller said. “It’s up to us now. How quickly we can build the LNG terminals. That helps. How much we can save. That helps even more. We can manage it.”
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