The German city of Hanover has cut off hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms as Russian reductions in gas supplies fuel fears of a winter energy crisis.
The city will also switch off public fountains and stop lighting up large buildings at night, as the city aims to reduce its energy consumption by 15%, according to a tweet from Hanover Mayor Belit Onay.
“This is a reaction to the impending gas shortage, which poses a major challenge for the municipalities - especially for a large city like Hanover,” Onay said.
The city will also reduce the times when heating is on in municipal buildings between October and March — excluding day care centers — convert all lamps to LED, ban mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators, and install motion detectors in place of permanent lighting in public toilets, bicycle sheds, corridors and parking lots.
Russian gas giant Gazprom announced Monday that it was halting another turbine in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany for maintenance purposes. The further cut meant gas flows, which were already operating at just 40% of capacity, fell to just 20%, prompting incredulity in Europe.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck called the maintenance justification a “farce” and EU leaders have accused the Kremlin of using state-owned Gazprom as a weapon in retaliation for Western sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Cities around Germany, which is heavily reliant on Russian gas, have introduced similar measures, including Munich, Leipzig, Cologne and Nuremberg.
Nuremberg has closed three of its four public indoor swimming pools, while outdoor lidos will remain open until September 25.