The Spanish government said public buildings in Spain will be cooled to at least 27C (81F) in the summer, and heated to no more than 19C (66F) in the winter as part of an energy-saving plan. this week.
The prospect of office workers, shoppers and commuters perspiring during scorching summer days – as it did in July when a record heat wave swept the continent – may not be a comforting thought. But Spain is the latest European country to conclude that restrictions are necessary, in part to boost energy efficiency but also to reduce the country’s consumption of Russian gas, as called for by the European Union.
“In the context in which the 27 members of the European Union have agreed to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption, the government is seeking to minimize the economic and social impact of a possible reduction in Russian gas supplies,” the government said in a press statement.
The measure also requires that storefronts be extinguished by 10pm, and that their doors remain closed. The guidelines apply to commercial spaces such as offices, shops, cinemas, malls, cultural venues, and public transportation systems and centers such as airports and stations.
The government said the changes could reduce demand for gas and oil by five percent in the short term.
Not all government leaders agreed with the guidelines. Isabel Diaz Ayuso, regional leader of Madrid, Posted on Twitter on Monday Madrid would not comply.
“This leads to insecurity and scares tourism and consumption,” she added.
Many European countries have long been opposed to air conditioning, tending to consider them unfriendly and unnecessary. It is rarely found in homes, but is more common in public places.
However, each successive heat wave creates more demand for air conditioning, and experts have predicted that demand will only grow, in part as a result of climate change. In 2018, the International Energy Agency projected that global demand would more than triple by 2050.
Spain is not alone in its new restrictions. Greece also limits air conditioning to 27°C (81°F), while separately supporting the replacement of old, ineffective air conditioning units. Italy restricted cooling to 25 °C (77 °F) and heating to 19 °C (66 °F) in an attempt called the “thermostat operation”. Some German cities offer financial incentives to reduce gas use while other street lamps dim.
Spain’s new restrictions will remain in place until November 1, 2023, according to the government.