Why Germany’s Electric Heater Sales Boom Could Hit France

Why Germany’s Electric Heater Sales Boom Could Hit France

Germany is experiencing an unprecedented boom in electric heater sales. The fear that the gas supply will be reduced or even stopped this winter is questionable. A phenomenon that could also affect French households.

This is another consequence of the war in Ukraine. With the drop in gas supplies from Russia, Germany is experiencing an unprecedented boom in radiator sales in the summer. Sales have already increased by a third in the first half of the year.

The phenomenon is explained by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the increase in the price of gas. But it is also the fear of seeing the Russian gas tap shut off this winter that is driving the Germans. Especially since Moscow has already reduced its gas supplies to Europe. Fearing that they won’t be able to heat properly at the end of the year, households storm the supermarkets that sell these electric auxiliary heaters.

An explosion in the demand for electricity

But such behavior is not without risks. If these devices could provide non-negligible savings on gas bills, they could, in turn, skyrocket electricity bills. In fact, these heaters are not designed to continuously heat a home.

Furthermore, the massive deployment of this type of device could simultaneously explode the demand for and production of electricity. Overconsumption that could disrupt electricity supplies.

Dependence on Russian gas is estimated at 20% in France, which is significantly lower than in our German neighbors. “But that shouldn’t stop us from making an effort,” warns Phuc-Vinh Nguyen, a researcher in French and European energy policy at the Jacques Delors Institute.

France affected?

“Power generation in France is very tight at the moment,” he recalled via our antenna. “In winter, we have to import this electricity primarily from Germany,” the expert continued. However, the country must first meet its own electricity needs, which could explode with the use of these radiators. Phuc-Vinh Nguyen therefore emphasized the “need to reduce our overall energy consumption” through energy sobriety.

In winter, European apartments heat up to an average of 22 degrees. “Maybe we can think of lowering that temperature to 19 or 20 degrees,” the researcher suggested. “But we cannot ask the same effort from a person in a situation of fuel poverty as from a person who has the means to insulate their home,” he stressed.

Possibilities cited by the expert include a campaign to mobilize state and local authorities to reduce their energy consumption and consultations with industry about potential production disruptions.