A decree released in the official state gazette on Tuesday states that Spain will ban starting your AC to save energy and cut 7-8% in gas use.
Spain is the latest European nation to strive to lower its energy use and its reliance on Russian oil and gas. Spain has announced new energy-saving measures, including limits on air conditioning and heating temperatures in public and large commercial buildings.
A decree that takes effect in seven days states that heating should not be set beyond 19°C and air conditioning should not be set below 27°C in public buildings, malls, theaters, movie theaters, train stations, and airports. To conserve energy, doors must be shut, and lights in storefront windows must be turned down after 10 p.m.
The aforementioned premises will need to have screens or signs that describe the energy-saving activities.
Spain has agreed to a 7-8% cut in gas use, while not being as dependent on Russian energy supply as many other EU nations are.
The regulations will be in effect until November 2023 and were released in the official state gazette on Tuesday.
“[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.
Teresa Ribera, Spain’s environment minister, has also advised that large corporations and government agencies encourage employees to work from home in order to reduce the amount of energy used for buildings and transportation.
The populist, right-wing president of the Madrid region, Isabel Daz Ayuso, promptly rejected the proposed measures. Ayuso, who repeatedly criticized the Covid limits imposed by the central government, declared that the regulations will not be followed in her area.
“Madrid isn’t going to switch off,” she said. “That generates insecurity and scares off tourism and consumption. It brings darkness, poverty and sadness, even as the government covers up the question of what savings it will apply to itself.”
Some questioned Ayuso’s position, pointing out that 4,500 residents of two sectors of the vast Caada Real slums outside of Madrid have been without electricity for nearly two years.
The illegal marijuana farms in the Caada, according to the regional government of Madrid, put so much strain on the energy network that it had to shut down for safety, are to blame for the ongoing power outages.
Mónica García, a doctor and spokesperson for the leftwing Más Madrid party, tweeted: “Good morning. If you’re on the beach, keep an eye on your belongings, stay hydrated and remember that 1,800 boys and girls in the Cañada Real have been without electricity for almost two years – something that, according to Ayuso, generates ‘darkness, poverty and sadness’. Thank you.”
Two heatwaves this summer have highlighted the need to reduce emissions through cutting energy consumption in Spain.
“I want to make something very clear,” the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said last month as he visited regions badly hit by wildfires. “Climate change kills: it kills people, as we’ve seen; it also kills our ecosystem, our biodiversity, and it also destroys the things we as a society hold dear – our houses, our businesses, our livestock.”