Dhe President of the Gesamtmetall employers’ association, Stefan Wolf, relies on the employees’ willingness to accommodate in the event of a gas shortage. “I believe that there are many employees who try to save the company electricity and thus costs and secure their jobs by working from home,” said Wolf of the German Press Agency. “I expect that too.”
“We won’t know how dramatic the situation will be until autumn, when it’s clear whether Putin will shut off the gas completely,” said Wolf. He fears that the Russian President “will do it and it will hit us hard”. Then you have to pull out all the stops. The companies would have done everything that goes to savings. With temperatures in offices, however, they are bound by the workplace ordinance. “You should think about whether you change the workplace ordinance again and we can go down to 18 degrees,” said Wolf. Currently, 19 to 20 degrees are set as the minimum value in work rooms in which people mainly sit – depending on the difficulty of the work.
IG Metall believes that doubts are appropriate
“Mr. Wolf would certainly prefer to see his production staff in his factories,” said IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann of the German Press Agency. He also has the greatest doubts that it is really more energy-efficient if a large number of employees work at home and consume electricity and heat energy there, said Hofmann. “And it’s about saving energy in a crisis and not about saving for the company.” In addition, switching off and reheating larger buildings consumes more energy than heating them through. “More than doubts are appropriate here,” said Hofmann.
People would have to rethink, demanded Wolf. “We have to think about how we can actually maintain the prosperity that we have.” So far, it has always been about permanently increasing prosperity. “We will have less available and will have to reduce our claims,” said Wolf. He is firmly convinced that you can get through this crisis: “It will certainly not be in 2023, but maybe in 2024 or 2025.” And then there will be something to distribute again.
Due to concerns about possible energy bottlenecks, savings targets came into force at the beginning of the month, which are intended to reduce consumption over the next six months. For workplaces in the private sector, the ordinance does not stipulate that room temperatures in offices, for example, have to be reduced. However, it is made possible for employers to heat less in the commercial sector with legal certainty and have the opportunity to follow the example of the public sector. This is the basis for voluntary commitments by companies and company agreements to save energy.