“Every kilowatt-hour saved saves the gas storage tanks,” said the mayor’s office in a news release on Wednesday.
It’s the first city in Germany to switch to cold showers in public buildings, making hot water unavailable for handwashing and other uses in government facilities, gyms, and swimming pools.
The city, located in the country’s northwest, will also reduce heating in public buildings, as well as stop lighting up public buildings during the evenings. Hanover will also turn off public fountains.
“The goal is to reduce our energy consumption by 15%,” said Mayor Belit Onay. “This is a response to the looming gas shortage, which is a big challenge for municipalities — especially for a big city like Hanover.”
“The situation is unpredictable, as just the last few days have shown,” he added. “Nevertheless, the state capital is trying to prepare as best it can.”
— Anna Cooban, Nadine Schmidt and Mark Thompson contributed reporting.