Germany is close to gas rationing after a drop in supplies from Russia.
Germany's economy ministry said that the country has triggered the "alarm" stage of an emergency gas plan.
The EU and Russia are at odds over the invasion of Ukraine.
Robert Habeck is the German economy minister.
The second stage of Germany's emergency plan is triggered when there is a high demand for gas.
The country stopped short of allowing utilities to pass on cost increases to customers.
EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday that 12 European Union countries have been affected by cuts in gas supplies from Russia.
Problems with equipment caused Russia to cut flows to 40% of capacity.
It had cut gas supplies to several countries because they refused to comply with a payment scheme.