“We cannot afford to waste even one kilowatt-hour,” said Environment Minister Teresa Ribera. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet plans to save the most on heating public spaces. In shops, restaurants, offices, cinemas or public transport, heating will be allowed to a maximum of 19 degrees, and it will not be possible to set the air conditioning to less than 27 degrees.
Operators will also have to ensure that doors to air-conditioned or heated areas are closed. The government also wants thermometers and information boards to be placed in public spaces, from which it would be possible to determine compliance with the rules. The regulation will apply until the end of October next year.
Shop windows and public buildings
Another measure related to lighting has already drawn criticism. The government wants the lighting of shop windows and public buildings to be turned off after 10 p.m. The conservative head of Madrid’s autonomous region, Isabel Díaz Ayus, said she did not intend to comply with the order.
According to her, turning off the lights will discourage tourists and lead to an increase in crime. In response, Ribera specified that the regulation does not apply to street lighting and will not apply to Christmas decorations either.
The Spanish government wants to reduce energy consumption also in transport. She called on companies to make more use of working from home. According to the station RTVE, civil servants could work three days from home and two in the office. Spain will also extend train discounts until the end of the year.
The Spanish approved the plan in connection with the European Union’s goal of reducing gas consumption by 15 percent. The country negotiated an exemption from the EU target and only has to save seven percent.