Sep 12, 2022
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The Netherlands is already giving away hourglasses and shower timers

“The average duration of a hygienic shower in the Netherlands lasts nine minutes, according to government research company Milieu Centraal. Reducing showers to five minutes could save a household 60 cubic meters a year of natural gas, the fuel many homes use to heat water. Before the energy crisis, 40 billion cubic meters of gas were used annually throughout the country,” – writes the American edition Wall Street Magazine.

The Dutch government is trying to force the people of the Netherlands to conserve the country’s energy reserves after cutting Russian natural gas supplies to Europe. Reducing shower times could save each household about 130 euros a year, the government says. In one northeastern province, local governments even handed out timers to encourage people to save money.

Karla General spent 15 minutes in the shower every day, gradually raising the temperature of the water. Her boyfriend could not understand Carla’s extravagance and gave her an hourglass with a five-minute timer to control the time of taking a shower.

“Sometimes I used the shower to relax, but I often dreamed and lost track of time.” she says.

However, rising electricity bills and possible shortages proved to be sufficient motivation. “Now I shower for five minutes and keep my temperature normal.” Carla added.

Peter ten Bruggenkate, spokesman for the country’s Ministry of Economy and Climate, says people should “save as much energy as possible to fill gas storage and survive the winter.”

Amsterdam-based music journalist Thea Derks says she has always tried to limit her energy consumption. She only showers once a week for less than five minutes. Derks, 58, uses a bicycle for transportation, but it doesn’t make her sweaty enough to justify a daily shower.

“To limit energy when cooking, Ms Derks now brings foods like rice to a boil, then turns off the stove and places the pot in a cocoon made from her blanket to keep warm. For washing dishes, she uses an electric kettle to heat water instead of gas-heated tap water.”,

– specifies the author of the article.

But for some souls it remains a sacred space.

Meindert Boersma, a 23-year-old student from the province of Friesland, is climate-conscious enough to travel by train to avoid the carbon emissions associated with flying. But sacrificing his ten-minute shower is not in his plans.

A resident of Amsterdam – 25-year-old Reninde van Dorrestein, believes that five minutes is not enough for a decent shower.

“I have to wash my hair, shave my legs and all that. It takes 10 or 12 minutes.” – she said.

The Dutch government is also encouraging people to hang their clothes out to dry instead of using electric dryers, use a fan instead of air conditioning, and keep the blinds closed on a hot day.

Reint Jan Renes, a behavioral scientist, said the Dutch love to save money and are aware of the environment. However, people are skeptical of government requests and tend not to make personal sacrifices without good reason.

According to Hans de Kok, CEO of price comparison website Pricewise, the cost of Dutch household energy jumped to an average of 503 euros in August this year from 142 euros in August 2021. And the situation could get worse.

In addition to the Netherlands, other European countries have also begun to introduce restrictions, both on the use of water and electricity, and on the temperature regime in private households and public buildings, the publication concludes.

Inc. corr. FSK

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