What happens if gas runs out in Germany? With a view to the coming winter, the Consumer Protection Minister is calling for a moratorium that offers special protection in the event of a crisis.

Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) believes that a moratorium on electricity and gas cuts is necessary in the event of a further escalation of the energy crisis with significantly higher prices.

“It can happen that in an absolute crisis, the Federal Network Agency allows energy companies to pass on increased prices to consumers despite a price guarantee,” Lemke told the “Bild am Sonntag”. If that were to happen, a moratorium on power and gas cuts would be needed.

On the one hand, it must be ensured that the suppliers can maintain the energy supply in the country, said Lemke. “And on the other hand, in such a crisis situation, nobody should have their electricity or gas cut off because they are in arrears with a bill.” The gas supply is currently secured, but one has to be prepared for “difficult times” in winter, when consumers need special protection.

In view of the impending gas shortage and high energy prices, the Association of Towns and Municipalities suggested setting up heating rooms. “Since nobody can say exactly how dramatic the development will be, consideration should also be given to providing heat islands or warm rooms, where older people in particular can stay even in a very cold winter,” said managing director Gerd Landsberg to the newspaper.