Energy prices: Municipalities warn against dramatic consequences – dpa

S.The cities, municipalities and counties of Achsen-Anhalt are intensively preparing for the impending energy crisis. However, as a survey by the German Press Agency has shown, the situation in the country is different. While some municipalities expect significant financial burdens in the near future, others have the advantage of existing fixed-price contracts. Austerity measures are at risk in many places in the country, and fall-winter energy contingency scenarios arise almost everywhere.

Poviats are particularly concerned about rising gas prices. “The four- to five-fold increase is well beyond the value that can be saved in the short term by reducing heating and other energy behavior,” said managing director of Saxony-Anhalt county council Heinz-Lothar Theel. For example, the Harz district expects additional electricity and gas costs for administrative and school buildings of around € 1.2 million this year. The district demands financial contributions from the federal and state governments to the additional energy costs. “If this compensation does not exist, there will be a marked reduction in volunteering that Harz has not yet seen,” said County Governor Thomas Balcerowski (CDU).

Stendal County estimates the increase in gas costs at 645 percent. About a third of municipal buildings are gas-heated. “Measures such as extending the setback times will be examined in the fall, for example by reducing the daily working time,” a spokeswoman said. In the Burgenland County, half of the county properties are gas-fired, the rest are oil-fired or district heating. The contingency plan provides for “transferring training and administration to specific, safe for delivery facilities and designing an emergency system for this purpose”.

The Burgenland district is also based on the ideas of its residents. You can send suggestions to the administration on how the district can save energy in public spaces. For this purpose, a dedicated e-mail address has been created. The district already has a deficit of EUR 9.1 million in the budget for 2022. “Obviously, this deficit will increase significantly due to the increase in prices,” said a spokeswoman.

Other municipalities are also concerned about the financial difficulties caused by the energy crisis. “You can imagine that the constant price increases will lead to payment difficulties,” said the city of Köthen. Federal and state governments should therefore decide on energy price caps. The situation is similar in the commune of Hohe Börde (district of Börde). “The resulting additional costs for municipalities must be compensated by federal and state governments. Otherwise, social life and social peace are at stake »said Mayor Steffi Trittel. Your administration expects gas costs to increase by more than 300 percent. There is a risk of budget consolidation. Voluntary tasks such as promoting the club would then be up for grabs. “This, in turn, is difficult to implement in local political decision-making bodies. These are political explosives. “

The city of Halle is currently analyzing possible scenarios. “Every kilowatt-hour the city can save helps,” a spokesman said. For municipal buildings, prices are planned to increase by 20 to 30 percent in the district heating sector, corresponding to an additional expenditure of one million euros per year. Gas and electricity prices should remain stable until 2023 as there is a framework agreement with fixed prices until the end of 2024. However, various measures should apply in autumn, including lowering indoor temperatures and minimizing ventilation losses through windows and doors. “The savings potential is estimated at twelve percent.”

In the city of Stendal, people want to generate electricity for their own needs and thus save costs. For example, photovoltaic systems have recently been installed at the Altmark Theater and Elementary School, and others are in the pipeline. Salzland District is working on making buildings more sustainable. For this purpose, among others, climate manager. In addition, according to the survey, many municipalities are switching to LED lighting in buildings and streets.

The left-wing faction in the state parliament recently called for a special program to help municipalities. “Many municipalities and counties in Saxony-Anhalt are now facing bankruptcy due to the enormous increase in energy costs,” said parliamentary group chairwoman Eva von Angern. The country must therefore ensure that energy costs are compensated. At the request of the Association of Towns and Municipalities, he confirmed that he was currently in talks with the state.

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