As European fuel crisis looms, Swedish environment minister suggests showering together to cut costs

Says turning off lights, computer can also help.

Published: September 20, 2022 3:36pm

Updated: September 20, 2022 3:51pm

A leader in the Swedish government is suggesting that citizens consider doubling up on showers in order to cut back on energy consumption as a major fuel crisis looms over the continent. 

Swedish Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, Environment and Energy Simonetta Sommaruga made the suggestion in response to a question from to a reader of the Luzern-based newspaper 20 Minuten. She suggested that residents of Sweden could “turn off the computer when you don’t need it, or turn off lights, or shower together” in order to cut back on energy. 

Backlash to the comments was strong enough that Sommaruga clarified to Zurich's Tages-Anzeiger newspaper that she intended the comments mostly for younger readers. 

"After a certain age, showering together is no longer suitable for everyone,” she said. 

The remarks come as Europe is staring down a potential crisis this winter as fuel prices skyrocket and normal fuel supply channels are cut off. 

Most notably, Russia's disconnection of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline has sent European governments and consumers scrambling to make up the significant fuel deficit that has resulted. Russia has not given a timeline for when the pipe will come back online.

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