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Y2K22 becomes cold reality: Many Carinthian households without hot water


A good 22 years ago, the so-called Y2K bug caused fear and horror, but the feared chaos was completely absent at the time. In 2022, however, a date change bug became a reality: not only for Microsoft Exchange users but also for 1,600 households in Austria. An error in connection with the date that causes or crashes the software: That was a horror scenario a good two decades ago. At the turn of the millennium, many people feared that planes would fall from the sky and nuclear power plants would explode. Of course, this had to do with the fact that some software systems were not prepared for the changeover to 2000 or four digits when they were programmed. But on January 1, 2022, this scenario became a cold reality for 1,600 households in the federal state of Carinthia.

Again ORF reported, namely at the turn of the year because of a software error in the time switches, the post-flow failed. As a result, the apartments and houses affected had no hot water and in some cases no heating. The Kärntner Elektrizitäts-AG (KELAG) announced that the city of Villach was and is primarily affected, but that there were households throughout the state that had to wait for a service visit. “We very much regret that this has happened, and we are working hard to ensure that all time switches are active again and that all customers have hot water available again as soon as possible,” said KELAG spokesman Georg Wurzer.

Problem solving only on site

The problem in this specific case is that the time switches, which are around ten years old, are not connected to the electricity supplier and cannot be changed or updated via remote access. The repair can only be carried out manually on site. “The work on site only takes a few minutes, we try to get everywhere as quickly as possible. We will certainly have the hot water restored everywhere this week,” said Wurzer.