Spain orders temperature limits for businesses in sweeping energy savings decree – POLITICO

The Spanish government has ordered all businesses to limit their temperatures and asked stores to turn off their lights at night as the country scrambles to save energy ahead of this winter.

Air conditioning cannot be lowered below 27 degrees in summer and heating cannot exceed 19C this winter, while storefronts must go out at 10 p.m., according to the decree adopted on Monday.

Similar measures have already been put in place for public administration buildings, while they remain optional for households for the time being.

“The world is upside down, we have a war in Europe,” Spain’s Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said on Tuesday.

“[This is] a special effort at an extraordinary time,” she added, stressing that the measures were intended to show the country’s “unity and solidarity” with its European partners.

Spain has said the move will help the country meet its target of reducing gas consumption by 7% – in line with promises it made last week as part of a wider EU deal. aimed at reducing gas demand ahead of winter amid impending energy. crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Last week, EU energy ministers agreed to a deal that could impose mandatory bloc-wide gas rationing in the event of winter supply shortages – and voluntarily reduce gas demand by 15% by March.

Madrid opposed the Commission’s initial proposal, with Ribera leading a coalition of mainly southern European countries against the plan on the grounds that it did not take sufficient account of different national energy mixes, trade connections and levels. dependence on Russian gas.

Unlike many other EU member countries, Spain has a limited dependence on Russian gas, with only 10.5% of imports coming from Moscow in 2020. Natural gas accounted for just under a quarter of the Spanish energy mix in the same year.

Monday’s initiative gives businesses seven days to adapt to the new measures, which could be relaxed in the event of extreme temperatures and will be in place until November 2023. The government is also expected to launch a contingency plan and wider energy savings in September.

But not everyone is happy with the plans.

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid and a rising force in the conservative People’s Party, said the law would not be enforced in the Spanish capital.

“Madrid will not close,” she said. said. “This [decree] generates insecurity and scares away tourism and consumption. It causes darkness, poverty, sadness.”


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