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The supply of private households has priority, but the details are decisive. Here are answers to the most important questions in the new gas debate.
Are households particularly protected?
Ja. The gas emergency plan, which is based on a European regulation, defines certain “protected customers”. These should be supplied with gas “as far as possible”, writes the Federal Network Agency. If there is a gas shortage, the Bonn authority would have to allocate the gas. Protected customers include private households, social institutions such as hospitals and kindergartens, but also gas-fired power plants that supply private households with heat. Industry, on the other hand, is not one of them. Business associations criticize this.
Will Habeck change the order?
That’s what it sounded like on Tuesday. If gas flows are interrupted for months, one might have to “think again” about the rules in the gas emergency plan, said Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) during a visit to Vienna. “Nobody should be cold.” But private households must make a contribution, otherwise there would be massive consequences for the economy as a whole. On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Habeck emphasized that the definition of protected customers continued to apply, that they would continue to be supplied in the event of a gas shortage and would not be switched off. However, all consumers would have to make a contribution to saving energy.