Greetings - heading to Munich and Salzburg in late November. Obviously that is a couple months out but weather will be chilly. I live in the US so trying to gauge whether the war in Ukraine will affect our trip at all? I cannot fathom hotels wont have ability to provide sufficient heat but curious if anyone on the ground locally has input? Thank you!
Regulations might mandate lower heating temperatures at businesses & administrations, but I would not worry that much. Late November can be chilly but is not the coldest period of the year either, and gas storage should still be OK at the start of the winter.
your question has made me stop and think a little.
Germany and Austria do not have all the lovely nuclear power that France has, and the German natural gas pipelines from Russia have been completely shut off by the Russians, so yes it will be very tight. A lot of German electricity is generated by natural gas so restrictions have already started in some German cities.
Switzerland generates almost all its electricity from hydro and uses little natural gas. I don't know which bucket Austria falls into - maybe both. But Salzburg is right on the border of Bavaria.
I know it will be difficult here in the UK because over the last several years we have completely scrapped any natural gas storage and now that we scrapped coal a very large chunk of our electricity is generated by natural gas. We produce most of our own natural gas, but not all, and prices are based on world wide prices so we are in a world of hurt financially.
Let's hope we all get through the winter without too much energy rationing, hunger and hypothermia.
"provide sufficient heat"
What is the definition of 'sufficient' ?
I would not be surprised if 15-16C ( 60F) were to be mandated as the upper limit. Or the cost may simply make it a limit.
Just an opinion from afar, based on reports that nat gas in Germany costs 8-10 times what it is in the US.
Pack thermal underwear.
Already the plan is in effect that public buildings in Germany (offices, museums, stores and so on) can only be heated to 19 degrees. And lights must be turned off between 10pm and 4pm in storefronts, and most decorative lights like on buildings and so are on only for limited hours if at all (not sure on the precise rules on this, but it is noticeable). Also, only cold water is to be used in these public spaces, unless warm water is needed for sanitary reasons (like in hospitals). Many offices in Germany only have cold water, so this is actually not such a huge change.
I would imagine that hotels will also set their maximum temperatures lower, but hopefully not below tolerable levels. But, all private citizens that I know are also doing this--our heater is not on yet, but my housemates and I have turned it down to a maximum of 17 degrees, and have also changed the hours when it will run. I think it will be a cold winter here, and I think this will be visible to tourists. But who really knows how serious it will get.
I would not worry at all.
Until now it was too warm in most of the public buildings and stores anyway. In fact what they've did sometimes (specialy the big department stores) was turning on their heating system and leaving the doors open ..... I always found this very sad. Hotels I do not see an issue at all becasue for sure they will not let their guest freeze.
And when it comes to turning off the lights - Bravo becasue there is too much light polution anyway (saying this as a person who loves to take pictures of the milky way). All measures taken now should have been taken long time ago already and I hope they will be the new nomal in future.
I fully agree re: the measures taken so far being past-due. I want an Autobahn speed limit too, and I really hope it happens.
I guess I didn't mean to be alarmist, but just to say that I assume tourists will, in fact, see/feel the effects of the energy crisis, as well they should--it is a huge issue. and will affect us all this winter. But that does not mean it is something that will cause problems for tourists.
Germany and Austria do not have all the lovely nuclear power that France has
True, but about 50% of the French power plants are currently off the grid for repairs and France is importing electricity, much of which is produced in those lousy German coal-fired power plants, a situation that will continue deep into the winter. As for Switzerland, it produces about 9 terrawatt-hours of electricity from hydropower, but in addition it has to import about 5 terrawatt-hours of electricity from neighboring France and Germany in the winter. Thus, for the upcoming winter the situation in the neighboring countries of Germany is not expected to be much more comfortable. The least problems are expected for Spain.