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UPDATE 1-Homes at top of list in German rationing plan

·1 min read

(Adds details of note, context)

FRANKFURT, Sept 5 (Reuters) - German households will be prioritised if Berlin activates an emergency gas rationing plan but they won't be able to heat private swimming pools or saunas, the energy regulator said on Monday.

Germany is in phase two of a three-stage emergency plan after a drastic reduction in gas flows from Russia, its main supplier, in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Stage three would mean gas rationing -- a growing possibility after Russia last Friday said the main pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany would remain shut.

If stage three is triggered, industrial companies, described as non-protected customers, would be theoretically curtailed first, while protected ones such as households and critical institutions would continue to receive available gas.

Companies making life-saving medications could be prioritised, the Bundesnetzagentur regulator said in a note to illustrate the provisions.

The category "protected" also includes small businesses consuming under 1,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year as well as heat producers using gas in residential quarters and district heating companies that supply socially critical services and crucial institutions and cannot technically opt out of gas.

Germany last month already saw the cabinet approve measures to dim street lights and turn down heating in public buildings. (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Miranda Murray and Carmel Crimmins)