• Europe is cracking down on energy use to save up for this winter as Russia tightens the gas taps. 
  • Germans won't be able to swim in heated private swimming pools, per the government's rules.
  • Meanwhile, Finland has urged people to spend less time in saunas and showers.

Cold swimming pools, chillier offices, and shorter showers are the new normal for Europeans as governments crack down on energy use ahead of winter to prevent shortages.

In the aftermath of the Ukraine war, Russia has tightened gas supplies to Europe in response to Western sanctions and is set to close the Nord Stream 1 Pipeline for three days next week for maintenance. As energy prices spike, the low gas flows have left European governments worrying about how much energy will be left for winter.

In response, some European countries have introduced measures aimed to keep energy use to a minimum.


In Germany, the government said on Wednesday that private swimming and bathing pools are banned from being heated in an energy-intensive manner. The minimum temperature in offices must be dropped by one degree Celsius — the maximum temperature allowed is 19 degrees Celsius (66F), the government said. Some public areas may not be heated, it added.

Hot water used for washing hands must be switched off or reduced to a temperature of the minimum hygienic level, the German government said. 

Lighting for illuminating buildings and monuments is mostly prohibited, while lighting on advertising will be banned during certain times, the government said, adding it "reduces unnecessary energy consumption."


Meanwhile, Spain approved an energy-saving plan in government on Thursday, Reuters reported, meaning the initiatives become law.

The measures include air conditioning limited to 27 degrees Celsius in public buildings, administrative buildings, and shops, the Spanish government said at the start of August. Heating in these places must not be set above 19 degrees Celsius it added.

Spain also wants shop doors to have automatic locks and remained closed when heating or air conditioning is on. Shops should also switch off lights after 10 p.m., the government said.


The French government has introduced a plan to cut energy consumption by 10% by 2024. This includes only turning the air conditioning on when temperatures exceed 26 degrees Celsius and making sure the heating is below 19 degrees. 

Buildings should have light-emitting diode (LED) lights and stronger thermal insulation, the government said. The Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution, a group of major retail stores in France, announced they were joining the energy-saving plan by switching off luminous lighting and lowering the temperatures in shops.


Italians could face having to live in colder homes and work in colder offices as the government plans to restrict heating and slash gas usage by more than 10%, Bloomberg reported.


As well as lowering temperatures in buildings, people in Finland are being urged to take shorter showers and spend less time in saunas, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

It's part of Finland's campaign called "a degree lower" which will be launched in October, per AFP. The campaign will also encourage Finns to cut the amount of time they spend on entertainment electronics and drive slower to save on fuel, AFP reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dit artikel is oorspronkelijk verschenen op z24.nl