Spain’s cabinet approved on Monday a raft of new energy-saving measures which will look to cut the country’s energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels.
The new decree aimed at economic sustainability will include a plan for energy savings and management, specifically in regards to air conditioning in an attempt to reduce costs.
Under the measures which support the European Union’s efforts to become less reliant on foreign energy supplies and fossil fuels, administrative buildings, public premises, train stations, airports, cultural spaces, cinemas, shops and theatres will all be obliged to reduce their use of air conditioning and heating.
The main aim of the move will be to increase energy savings and efficiency, cut costs and encourage a move to more sustainable fuels including renewable energies.
The energy crisis which has seen the cost of petrol, electricity and gas soar has been brought about by the conflict in Ukraine and exacerbated by extreme heat waves across the country forcing people to use more energy to keep cool.
Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, explained that the new decree will be in force until at least November 1st 2023, and up and running within seven days of being published in the country’s Official State Gazette (BOE).
In a statement, Ribera said, “We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of losing a single kilowatt-hour."
What are the new measures?
Under the new measures, public buildings, transport hubs, commercial centres, shops, cultural spaces and more will have to adhere to the following rules.
As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, many people across Europe are now working from home, however, the Spanish government is seeking to encourage more of this in an attempt to reduce travel-related energy consumption.
Working from home will therefore be recommended where possible for larger companies and public administration staff to “save on the displacement and thermal consumption of buildings”, Ribera said.
The minister believes that if more staff worked from home, some larger businesses could save up to €1 million per year on energy costs.
The measures will look to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and foreign oil and gas while encouraging a move to more renewable sources of energy.
Take off your tie to keep cool
In a bizarre claim, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez went as far as recommending that people should remove their ties to keep cool and help the energy-saving efforts claiming that people would be more comfortable which in turn would reduce the need to use air-conditioning.
Sanchez said that this was something he had asked all ministers to do and hoped that the private sector would adopt a similar approach to saving energy.
“This means that we can all save energy,” he argued.
Image Credit: La Moncloa
Updated: August 04, 2022 CET