Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) – Baden-Württemberg expects the cost of heating its own buildings to rise due to the throttling of Russian gas supplies and is looking to take a number of countermeasures. In 2021, the state spent EUR 17 million on gas supplies to around 8,000. state buildings. “Assuming a tripling of the gas price, in 2023 one could expect around EUR 51 million in gas supply costs,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance of the German Press Agency in Stuttgart.
Gas costs can be four to five times higher
But this original tripling assumption is probably no longer valid. Purchases on the power exchange are already underway “so that, according to the available forecast, the costs of gas purchases will be four to five times higher than in 2021”. In the worst case, the costs would be € 85 million in 2023. There would also be additional costs for district heating that cannot be quantified at the moment, the spokesman explained.
In winter, officials would probably need a sweater and thick socks
This may also include the fact that government officials’ offices are only heated to a maximum of 18 degrees in winter. One is open to the federal government revising the jobs ordinance accordingly, a ministry spokesman said. Until now, the standard for light office work was 20 degrees. When it comes to cooling in summer, no one wants to change anything, unlike the federal government, in the southwest it has long been that cooling is only allowed from 26 degrees. But that is usually not necessary. “Our rooms are usually not refrigerated,” said a spokesman. “We are currently developing a package of measures to be prepared for fall and winter.”
Three-digit number in millions as a buffer – is it enough?
After the federal government announced an alert for a gas contingency plan, Finance Minister Danyal Bayaz (the Greens) has already predicted gas prices will rise. This will hit the bottom of citizens and businesses, and will put a huge strain on public budgets. The green and black coalition has built a 1 billion euro risk buffer into the key points of the double budget 2023/24 to absorb the additional costs of high inflation and higher energy prices. The three-digit amount is to be set aside only for increasing energy costs. Whether this will be enough in the end cannot be estimated yet.
The share of gas in heating is 50 percent
The supply of heat to state buildings is largely provided by local and local district heating networks that are state owned or operated by third parties. The spokesman explained that the heat came mainly from combined heat and power generation. “The gas of energy is natural gas, which accounts for about 50 percent.”
The Finance Minister warns colleagues in the department to save energy
Bayaz sent a letter to his fellow ministers with advice at the end of May. “I would like to use this tense situation as an opportunity to motivate all state authorities to actively save energy,” wrote Zielony. While security of supply to state buildings is “still guaranteed today, obtaining natural gas from the power exchange is much more difficult.”
The minister reminded that by 2030 the state administration should be climate neutral. “According to the resolutions of the state parliament, state-owned buildings should be converted to a climate-neutral heat source as soon as possible. This is especially true in the face of the current energy crisis, writes Bayaz. But it still takes time.
Therefore, it is important that government authorities do their homework when it comes to saving energy. “Adapting automatic time control to on-call times, lowering the temperature in unused rooms with manual thermostatic valves, or completely turning off the heating in the warmer months of the year, are examples of actions,” explains the Minister of Finance. “With many small measures in individual buildings, a significant amount of energy can be saved in the sum of all properties.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220703-99-890492 / 3