Consequences of war: Germans save energy |

Status: 25/04/2022 14:12

According to a survey, one in two German households have tried to save energy since the start of the war in Ukraine. Because energy prices are at an all-time high.

Half of Germans pay more attention to their energy consumption due to the war in Ukraine. This is the result of a survey by the digital association Bitkom. Subsequently, 48% of respondents said they are more energy conscious, for example using less electricity, heating less or switching to green electricity. “Due to the war in Ukraine, many people are also motivated to save energy,” explained Matthias Hartmann, a member of the Bitkom Executive Committee.

Above all, high prices are likely to be a driver for more conscious energy consumption, because they are at a record high: in March of this year, a megawatt-hour on the Leipzig EEX power exchange cost an average of € 283, according to the comparison portal CHECK24. For comparison: in February the price for one megawatt hour was around 123 euros. This is a 130 percent increase. “The high wholesale energy prices will fully reach private electricity and gas customers only with a slight delay,” says Steffen Suttner, Managing Director Energy of CHECK24.

The situation with gas prices is similar: following the war in Ukraine, a megawatt hour on the European Gas Spot Index THE cost on average in March 158 euros according to CHECK24, in February it was 82 euros per megawatt hour – a 93 percent increase. For many end consumers in Germany, this should be reflected in their next gas bill, because according to the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), three-quarters of Germans will heat with gas or oil in 2021.

Digital helpers in everyday life

More and more people in this country are paying attention to their electricity and gas consumption, probably to lower the incoming energy bill a little: according to the Bitkom survey, 42% are increasingly activating the energy saving function on devices such as laptops. o 22% monitors are reducing the brightness of the screens to save energy. “Even small measures that do not limit everyday comfort can make an important contribution to climate protection and reducing dependence on Russian energy imports,” explained Hartmann, a member of the Bitkom Executive Committee.

“Digital tools” can also help reduce energy consumption. These include WLAN or radio-controlled sockets to completely shut down devices when not in use. A radio controlled socket is an intermediate socket with a radio receiver integrated in its housing, which can be controlled via a separate remote control, smartphone or tablet. This allows you to remotely control electronic devices via smartphone or tablet to avoid stand-by times. Because even if the devices are in the so-called stand-by function, they continue to consume electricity. This is already taken into account by 59 percent of Bitkom respondents, who now always completely shut down their devices. This also includes leaving the light off more often or reducing hot water consumption.

22 percent of respondents heat less

Consumers can also save money with smart radiator thermostats – this way, heating times and delivery times are optimized, because with each degree of room temperature, around six percent less heating energy is used. According to Bitkom, around 22% of respondents already turn down their heat more frequently. The Federal Consumer Center also recommends venting the heater regularly and not placing furniture in front of the heaters. In addition, smart meters for electricity, gas or water should be used.

Additionally, consumer advocates recommend using Eco programs on dishwashers and washing machines, as well as an energy-saving shower head and water-saving toilet cistern. This can significantly reduce water consumption. According to Bitkom, 40 percent of those who consciously reduce their energy consumption also save hot water by showering instead of bathing.

he demanded independence from Russia

The attitude of the Germans is also reflected in their behavior, because according to a poll, nine out of ten Germans are of the opinion that one should become independent of Russian gas as soon as possible. The energy transition could also make an important contribution in this sense, but it is too slow by 74%, three percentage points more than at the beginning of 2022.

Politicians are also working on plans to become independent of Russian gas and gradually reduce consumption. According to Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), it is still too early to be able to completely renounce deliveries from Russia, as a stop would hit German industry hard. For example, the chemical industry depends on gas from Russia: for more than 2,000 chemical and pharmaceutical companies, gas is the most important source of energy and raw material for many products. For example, the gas is needed to produce the chemical ammonia, which is used as a raw material for fertilizers or medicines.

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