Children and the elderly should not freeze

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Of: Benjamin Lemper

It is not possible: At least in administration and offices, the temperature should be lowered. Symbol photo: dpa © Ed

The city of Gießen, Arbeiterwohlfahrt, Caritas and the evangelical deanery want to save energy. At least in sensitive areas, there is no need to tremble. Even athletes can breathe easily.

Pour. In many places the water is slightly or significantly colder, offices and apartments are heated less and in the inner cities it is darker than usual in the evening. The consequences of the energy crisis have long been felt in everyday life, because the important thing is: save, save, save. This week, the mayors in the district came up with proposals for moderate measures, which each municipality should investigate. Some of this has already been implemented in Gießen, but the concept will continue to be updated, says spokeswoman for magistrate Claudia Boje. Social organizations such as Caritas and Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Awo) or the evangelical deanery are also gearing up to reduce energy needs. At least in particularly sensitive areas such as day care centers or nursing homes, there is probably no reason to panic. There is also good news for athletes.

The city of Giessen : In July, the city announced, among other things, that it would refrain from illuminating public buildings in the evening hours. Nothing changed about that. The street lights, on the other hand, are not switched off, emphasizes Claudia Boje. On the one hand, this is not desirable for safety reasons, because “much social life still takes place in the city at night”, on the other hand, thanks to energy-saving LED technology, it is not even necessary. In the medium term, the traffic lights in Giessen must also be converted to LED.

No cold shower

The hot water remains switched off in the town hall, and the temperatures in the offices are regulated to 19 degrees in accordance with the federal executive order. In any case, employees must not operate their own heaters or other private electrical appliances. It’s even cooler in hallways where no one is. “Between the years” the administration – except for emergencies – will be closed.

It has now been decided that the showers in the sports halls must continue to be supplied with hot water. In September, the Giessen sports district sent an open letter to all municipalities and called for this. Otherwise, health damage is to be expected due to the bad weather conditions. “Sports and hygiene afterwards must still be ensured,” confirms Mayor Frank-Tilo Becher. Especially since it doesn’t make any savings “if people who do sports shower at home”. At the same time, the risk of legionella formation is counteracted. And of course the municipal daycare centers would also be “heated in their entirety”.

charity : In Caritas day care institutions, it is recommended that the temperature is at best lowered slightly, i.e. by 0.5 degrees. As a starting point, the specialists are obliged to pay attention to the subject of “energy and heating” and sensitize parents and children, for example with regard to clothing, explains Astrid Wichert, head of Daycare and Family Homes, at the request of the indicator. . In addition, it is always necessary to check in each individual case which rooms are heated and how – “depending on whether they are used for intensive physical activity or for quiet use”. Especially in the nursery, a higher room temperature is necessary. A checklist from the Caritas quality office also offers guidance, where energy-saving measures are checked individually according to spatial and structural requirements and appropriate precautions are taken.

At the nursing homes Sankt Anna and Maria Frieden, the heat is recovered with the help of a new ventilation system via the exhaust air from the central kitchen, says Lucia Bühler, head of department for Elderly and Handicapped Aid. Processes are also adjusted to reduce peak loads. As an example, Bühler mentions that dishwashers “which have a high starting current are started up with a time delay”. Here, too, lamps are replaced by LEDs and thermostats in the public areas are rebuilt with preset temperatures.

“No lobby”

awo : “In addition to the burdens and additional expenses from the pandemic, the energy costs and the overall cost development present us with major challenges,” explains Awo’s CEO Jens Dapper. And yet it is clear: “There can be no drop in temperature in a care home or in a daycare center. We would endanger the health of the people we care for, young and old. Unlike other companies, we do not have this potential.” It is only possible to turn the radiator in the administrative areas.

Hospitals recently complained that it was becoming more difficult to cover rising energy costs from revenues and reserves. “It’s not better for the elderly and nursing homes,” says Dapper. But nursing in Germany has no lobby. “It usually takes much longer than in other sectors before we are heard.” Nevertheless, Awo naturally tries to make energy savings. Due to the climate crisis, since 2020 there has been more focus on sustainability in all houses with new purchases – for example kitchen appliances and lighting – and spare parts. Awo Gießen Land has just entered into a large contract for the installation of solar cells, and Awo Gießen Stadt is about to do so. It is hoped that positive effects will be achieved with solar energy from 2023.

Jens Dapper also sees “great opportunities” in “individual sensitization”. For the total of 720 employees in the three Awo companies with 19 facilities are “720 potential energy savers”. It requires behavior that almost everyone knows about: “Immediate ventilation instead of tilting the windows, turn down the radiators when there is no one in the office at the weekend, turn off the lights when there is no need for light.” In addition, there is an “energy check” of the building by the house’s technicians, “who must assess short-term savings opportunities with technical expertise”.

Evangelical Deanery : Energy consumption in the parishes and administrations must be “sharply cut”. “Offices and group rooms in community centers are only heated to 18, at most 19 degrees, anterooms and hallways are no longer heated and the outdoor lighting is also switched off during the dark season. Flow water heaters are switched off if the water is mainly used for hand washing. In the church day care institutions, the thermometer must not rise above 20 degrees, only baby changing rooms can be heated up to 24 degrees,’ reads a statement.

situation in winter

Kornelia Marschner uses the example of the evangelical daycare for elderly disabled people in the southern area to show that the elderly in church facilities cannot simply do without the heat. The manager emphasizes that she does not want to lower the room temperature, after all, she looks after elderly citizens who are listed elsewhere as “persons in nursing homes”. “I could never put my elderly in our facility for eight hours at 19 degrees without putting their health at risk.” If the situation worsens in winter and people no longer heat their homes because they fear that they will not be able to bear the costs, then, be it dean André Witte-Karp, it must be considered to what extent church premises can play a role as hot spots.

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