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District heating: Who needs hot water?

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District heating: Who needs hot water?

In Wenzenbach, 70 households have been living without heating for weeks and the supplier is bankrupt. Complaints are also increasing elsewhere. Customers are at the mercy of providers.

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A power plant for district heating supply in Stuttgart: A heating network is only worthwhile in densely populated areas. © [M] ZEIT ONLINE Photo: Thomas Kienzle/​AFP/​Getty Images

The day after, when the news had already made the rounds, a group of angry citizens stood in Sebastian Koch’s town hall. “They didn’t want to leave until the hot water was running again and the matter with the thermal power plant was sorted out,” says the mayor of Wenzenbach. That was the end of February.

The matter is still not resolved. For over three weeks, almost 70 households in the small town near Regensburg have been living without heating or hot water. The thermal power plant is at a standstill and the energy provider is insolvent. The residents complain about cold apartments and the children shower in the school gym. “That’s close to my heart,” says Mayor Koch. But he couldn’t do anything about it either.

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