It's no longer a laughing matter now.
Russia announced in June that it will reduce natural gas flows to Germany by roughly 40 percent. The German government recently declared that the country had entered the "alarm stage" of the emergency gas plan, calling on its citizens to reduce consumption.
In London, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that Russia could cut gas supplies to Europe entirely to boost its leverage against the West amid the war in Ukraine.
Russia has already restricted gas flows to Europe, with the Kremlin blaming a "delay" in servicing equipment caused by the European Union (EU) sanctions. The EU, meanwhile, accused the Kremlin of playing geopolitics.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement that Europe needs contingency plans. "Considering this recent behavior, I wouldn't rule out Russia continuing to find different issues here and there and continuing to find excuses to further reduce gas deliveries to Europe and maybe even cut it off completely.
Gas prices have gotten so high in Germany that wood-burning stoves and firewood have become scarce as citizens are loading up to heat their homes in the next year.
Furnace builders and installers are getting large orders from concerned customers who want to install additional heating options in their houses or apartments.
A spokesman for the Central Association for Sanitary, Heating and Air Conditioning (ZVSHK) in Sankt Augustin said that demand for wood-burning stoves and firewood exploded when the war broke out.
The Ukraine War and concerns about the energy supply had citizens worried, which is why they are now turning to wood-burning stoves. However, even this cannot guarantee heat if there is a lack of firewood.
As firewood dealers face their own nationwide rush of customers and can no longer meet the increased demand, Gerd Muller, head of the office of the Federal Firewood Association in Kamen, said that the market is now empty.
With the skyrocketing gas and oil prices, as well as the concern that heating problems could remain next winter, people are unsettled or even scared – and at least some customers will not be getting their stoves before the end of next winter. According to the ZVSHK, the waiting time is a year in some cases, despite having over 2,000 furnace construction companies nationwide.
In the U.K., families are also forced to limit and find alternative ways of heating their homes, with many fearing how they can afford basic everyday essentials.
Farm owner Daniel Skinner, for instance, said that the rise in fuel costs is causing major concern as the increased prices for agricultural operations threaten to push food prices even higher.
He also said that the locals have now been buying lots of firewood with the intention of using single-room heating, rather than turning the central heating on. (Related: European gas prices shoot up as Russia reduces supply to top buyers across the EU.)
Moreover, two of Northern Ireland's biggest food companies also warned consumers to expect further price rises over the year. Food production inputs such as fuel, fertilizer and animal feed have also been impacted by the rapid inflation over the last year.
Dale Farm Chief Executive Nick Whelan also warned people of the future implications of the increased gas prices. "The inflation that is coming right through the supply chain hasn't probably hit the retail shelves in full yet," he said.
European leaders are now scrambling to find more sustainable alternatives to Russian gas. Analysts say that Europe will struggle to find an alternative within the next few months as a cold winter could exacerbate the crisis.
Visit PowerGrid.news for more updates about heating and energy costs.
Watch the video below to learn how to build a smokeless fire in a wood-burning stove.
This video is from the LDS Prepper channel on Brighteon.com.