If Germany was forced to ration gas, households and emergency services, such as hospitals, would get priority. This would hit manufacturers that rely on gas for production particularly hard, pushing up prices and possibly leading to job losses. This early warning stage aims to help businesses plan for any future shortfalls: a crisis group of representatives from the government will meet daily. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck also hopes for support from the public and has called for people to save energy where possible. “Every kilowatt helps,” he said. So far there are no gas shortages and Germany had large reserves. But over the past year Russia has failed to keep German gas reserve tanks fully stocked – some believe this indicates a long-standing plan by the Kremlin to use gas as a weapon against Europe.