Saturday, 15 February 2014

Rant No. 15: Heating.

Germany is an energy efficient country. That’s the image they like to portray anyway.

But then what about the excessive heating on the u-bahn, the trains, and the buses. In the winter they are all heated to about 40°C, despite the fact that everyone is wearing layer upon layer of thermals and clothing, heavy coats and hats, scarves and gloves.

Everyone is dressed for -10°C, and then you get onto transport and there is a 50°C difference in temperature.

Why? What is the point? Isn’t this a massive waste of energy? With so many layers do people really need such heat inside?

Not only is this not green, but it is also really uncomfortable and unnecessary. I find myself spending so much time in winter dressing and undressing. Taking this layer off, stripping as soon as I get on the u-bahn.

At work, I have to take off my thermals because the heating is so high in the office. Then the Germans ask me how I can walk around with so little clothes on while it is winter, it must be because I am British, but it’s like a sauna for me! I just can’t cope with the heat, but it doesn’t seem to affect the stoic Germans.

I’m not saying don’t use heating, but how about a little common sense and just turning it down a bit.

When you enter a shop it’s like setting foot on a beach in Dubai. Walking into a restaurant is like passing through a heat wave. I’m sure this hot-cold-hot-cold is the reason that so many of us get sick here in the winter!


  1. A big pet peeve among foreign parents is that the babies/children here are all way overdressed. Sometimes you see babies in snowsuits when it's 15-20 degrees outside. In defense of the Germans, though, Americans are also guilty of overheating in winter and overcooling in summer. New York City is much, MUCH worse than Berlin in this respect. But then the US is not known as a green country, so at least there's no hypocrisy. (Sidenote: You Brits have a superhuman tolerance for cold. I remember being in Manchester in the dead of winter and seeing party girls out on a Friday night in miniskirts and no tights. It still makes me cold just thinking about it!)

    1. Yes, in defense of everyone, us Brits do seem to have some weird tolerance for the cold! Or stupidity... but I am always the first to bring out the havianas in the spring!