Uckermark Cities Against Activity: Save Energy Without Freezing Children and Citizens in the Dark

“Panic reactions are never meaningless,” asserts Prenzlau Mayor Hendrik Sommer (Independent) in light of the search for reasonable ways to save energy and heating costs – given the potential scarcity and increasing prices. With this assessment, he aligns with the mayors of other Uckermark municipalities and the district administration, as a survey by Uckermark Kurier showed. “We will not let children freeze under any circumstances, neither in gyms nor in training facilities,” stresses Ramona Fisher, press officer for the Uckermark District Administration, which is responsible for properties such as schools and gyms. Electronic whiteboards will never be replaced with chalkboards again. Top management does not see any possibility of integrating functions within management during the heating period so that some rooms do not have to heat up to room temperature. The possibility of working from home has already been granted – on a voluntary basis – during the pandemic.

“Otherwise, chaos reigns.”

On July 22, the city of Schwet participated in a special expanded meeting of the advisory board for fire and disaster protection of the German Association of Cities and shared experiences and further actions with hundreds of other cities, Deputy Mayor Silvio Moritz explains. Schwedt could imagine a working group, such as the one set up in Cologne, headed by the mayor, where public utilities and housing companies, among other things, exchange information about current developments and any necessary measures. However, this should not be actual or proactive obedience, but should be taken into account and actually make sense. “For example, cutting out the lighting on the Schwidt City Bridge would not result in marginal savings – if possible – because such LED lighting consumes very little electricity. According to Silvio Moritz, cities, for their part, expect the requirements of the legal framework and reliable guidelines To act from the federal and state governments regarding energy-saving measures that can and should be implemented at the municipal level: “Other chaos reigns.” Allowed, for example, permitting central company holidays or arranging home offices for employees in city halls? To what extent can savings be made? In energy in day care centers and primary schools, or are these facilities left out?—these are just two questions that need to be clarified.

Elimination of heating rooms

Cities do not consider creating heating rooms very efficient, explains Moritz, giving the city union view: “Communal accommodation should always be created when disaster calls for it. This should be determined by the district, which then coordinates all measures.

Gas shortage has not yet been determined. “It is understood that you have to take precautions in the event of an emergency, but you have to beware of taking measures. I think that in the vast majority of private homes – if only because of the announced cost increases – energy is saved,” says Deputy Mayor Schwedt. No one should exaggerate advice on how to make better use of scarce resources. The city administration will not provide additional information to citizens: “Owners of municipal real estate and facilities are already doing so. Rather, our task is to always have an updated overview of the situation and to coordinate and implement the necessary measures with decision makers.”

Read also: Rescue plan for the refinery in Schwedt

In the event the Federal Network Agency declares an emergency, a multi-stage plan is also being planned in Templin, explains Alexander Koppen, the second deputy mayor there. It could be conceivable, for example, that every third pier lantern would be turned on instead of every second, but only when it posed no danger to the citizens. Replacing dimmers with timers is also being considered, but this should also be examined from an economic point of view. Regardless of the availability of these components in Germany and the development of their prices. According to Coben, Templin began replacing old bulbs with LED bulbs years ago. The department is expected to provide an information form on this to city council members by October at the latest.

Energy saving price for Prenzlau

Mayor Sommer asserts that the town of Prenzlau has also been investing in energy-efficient renovation for a long time. For example, with LED / energy-saving lamp conversion of the entire street lamp grid. Most of the lamps in schools have been converted to LED systems and the city has invested in a modern heating system at Grabow School, for example. “This results in energy savings of 20 percent. By the way: For this, the city took first place in the Energy Prize for the State of Brandenburg,” Sommer says.

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