Spain has approved a new set of energy-saving measures that include offices, stores and hospitality venues no longer being allowed to set their air conditioning below 27C in summer, nor raise heating above 19C in the winter – as well as requiring shops with air-conditioning to keep their doors shut to maintain the temperatures. The measures will apply to offices, shops, bars and restaurants as well as public transport systems and transport centres.
Heating systems must also be checked more often to increase efficiency under the new measures, Spanish Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said.
The measures include switching off store window lights after 10pm. Street lighting will not be affected.
The government passed the bill as part of a bid to reduce the country’s gas consumption by 7% in line with the recent European Union energy agreements to limit dependency on Russian gas.
Ribera said the measures would initially be maintained until November 2023.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the new package last week, saying, ‘You just need to walk into a shopping mall to realise that maybe the temperature is set too low.’ On Friday, Sánchez also said that he had asked government officials, as well as those working in the private sector, to save energy by not wearing ties at work. ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez: ‘Stop wearing ties to save energy’.
Spanish public institutions already operate similar energy-saving regulations.
The government says the measures will not only save energy but will also bring down bills for households and businesses.
Spain is one of the hottest European countries in summer. The country has already had two heat waves this year with temperatures often surpassing 40C for several days in a row. Temperatures are forecast to soar again in the first weeks of August. ALSO READ: Air conditioning in public buildings in Spain to be limited to save energy.