• In the video: Habeck's heating law now applies – what that means for you

The city of Augsburg wants to close its gas network. Augsburg's main customers were informed that within ten years the supply of natural gas would be interrupted. That would be 2034, eleven years ahead of the federal government's climate goal.

This is unanimously reported by the local media, Handelsblatt and Bild. A spokeswoman also confirmed the announcement to hundreds of companies to FOCUS online. Apparently, residential neighborhoods and, initially, large customers of municipal public services are also affected. Households could go one step further. Gas is considered an important source of revenue for municipal utilities. Municipal companies in Germany generate between 20 and 60 percent of this.

Customers upset with new gas heater

“80 percent of customers welcomed the announcement,” Ulrich Längle, sales director of Stadtwerke Augsburg, told Handelsblatt newspaper. However, there are also clients who don't understand it. These are especially those who had a new gas heater installed a few months or years ago.

And the situation gets even worse for millions of gas households, because Augsburg is not an isolated case. Although municipalities are thinking about district heating networks, they also want to close gas networks. This means that many regions of the country are at risk of being shut down, and that's before 2045. “We, like many other network operators, systematically check which parts of the line infrastructure will no longer be needed in the future,” says a spokesperson for the company Eon, based in Essen.

What does this mean specifically for homes that use gas?

They cannot rely on gas or other fossil fuels to supply themselves until 2045. However, more and more people are investing in a new gas heating system to protect themselves for the next few years and avoid large investments. A heat pump or rooftop solar system involves additional insulation costs and major renovations.

According to the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VkU), for millions of gas households there is no certainty in planning. “A number of framework conditions still remain open and final decisions are therefore difficult for all network operators.”

In Germany, from 2045, households will no longer be able to use fossil fuels for heating, cooking and hot water. This is what the new heating law says. This gives municipalities 20 years to complete their heating planning. District or local heating should then be used wherever possible. Where it is not possible to plan for municipal heating, households should switch to heat pumps, pellet heating or solar thermal. What is explosive is that the EU wants to ban old heating systems much sooner.

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