Offices, shops and hospitality establishments in Spain will no longer be able to adjust their cooling systems below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer or raise heating above 19 degrees C (66 degrees F) in winter, under a new set of energy-saving measures approved Monday.
Stores will also be required to keep their doors closed, and heating systems must be checked more frequently to increase efficiency under the new measures, Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said.
These new measures include turning off the lights in store windows after 22:00 at night (It will apply to the lighting of public buildings that are unoccupied at the afore mentioned time). Street lighting will not be affected, but the monuments are also included in this regulation, so they will also be turned off at 10:00 P.M. at night.
The government approved the bill as part of an attempt to reduce the country’s gas consumption by 7%, in line with recent European Union energy deals to limit reliance on Russian gas because of the war in Ukraine.
Minister Ribera said that the measures will be maintained in principle until November 2023.
Spanish public institutions already operate similar energy saving regulations.
The government said these measures will not only save energy but also reduce household and business bills.
Spain is one of the hottest European countries during the summer. The country has already recorded two heat waves this year with temperatures frequently exceeding 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) for several consecutive days. Temperatures are expected to rise again in the first weeks of August.
The spokesman for the National Association of Large Distribution Companies (ANGED), Jesús Cerveró, considers the content of a large part of the measures to be “reasonable”, although he expresses “doubts” about limiting the air conditioning of establishments to 27 degrees, because “apparently it contradicts” the minimum safety and health provisions in the workplace established by law, an issue that the legal services of the association are analyzing.