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Spain puts limits on air conditioning and heating to save energy

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Spain has announced new energy-saving measures, including limits on air conditioning and heating temperatures in public and large commercial buildings, as it becomes the latest European country to seek to reduce its energy consumption and its dependence on Russian oil and gas.Under a decree that comes into effect in seven days’ time and applies to public buildings, shopping centres, cinemas, theatres, rail stations and airports, heating should not be set above 19C and air conditioning should not be set below 27C.

Doors will need to be closed so as not to waste energy, and lights in shop windows must be switched off after 10pm.The premises in question will be required to display signs or screens that explain the energy-saving initiatives.Although Spain is not as dependent on Russian energy supplies as many other EU countries, it has agreed to a 7-8% reduction in gas use.The measures, which were published in Tuesday’s edition of the official state gazette, will remain in force until November 2023.“[This] lays out a series of measures to save energy and use it more efficiently, which are urgent and necessary when it comes to reducing energy consumption in general, and reducing our dependence on energy outside the Spanish economy,” the decree said.Spain’s environment minister, Teresa Ribera, has also suggested public administrations and big companies could encourage people to work from home to save energy on transport and in buildings.The new measures were swiftly rejected by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the populist, rightwing president of the Madrid region.

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