Germans must reduce gas consumption by at least 20 percent to get through the winter without shortages, according to a Deutsche Bank report, but households have already increased their usage.
Germany may not meet its gas-saving targets due to the colder than average temperatures.
The German government’s goal of filling the gas storage facilities to 95 percent by November 1 is now in jeopardy, Business Insider reported on Monday.
According to a Deutsche Bank report published by the news site, German households have to reduce gas consumption by at least 20 percent to get through the winter without shortages.
But the households have already increased their consumption in September compared to the last year, experts told the news site.
If German households reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent, the country will likely avoid shortages until early March, according to the experts.
But if the consumption drops by only 10 percent, gas storage facilities will be empty in February, experts said.
Consumption 'steeply upward'
The Federal Network Agency, based in Bonn, is an upper German federal authority, which decides whether to ration gas in the event of a shortage.
“I am not at all happy about the figures for private consumption, which skyrockets right at the start of the cold season,” Klaus Muller, the head of the agency, told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Muller added that with the current consumption figures, he did not see Germany getting through winter without a gas shortage.
“We are seeing a dramatic increase in the price of natural gas, there are energy-saving campaigns, and yet consumption is going steeply upward,” Muller said.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, is facing the biggest energy crisis ever, due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Russia halted gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline earlier this month, in response to sanctions imposed on Moscow over its offensive on Kiev.
Nord Stream 2 pipeline was suspended in February by the German government, in response to Russia’s threats against Ukraine.
Following explosions last week on the Nord Stream pipelines, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said gas will no longer be supplied from Russia “for the foreseeable future.”
Before the conflict in Ukraine, Russia was supplying 55 percent of Germany’s natural gas, but the government managed to reduce that reliance to 26 percent at the end of June, according to official figures.