Spain’s parliament approves energy saving plan

(EurActiv, 26 Aug 2022) Spain’s parliament on Thursday (25 August) approved the minority government’s energy-saving rules which include limits on air-conditioning use as part of an EU-wide effort to reduce reliance on Russian gas.

Lawmakers voted 187 to 161 in favour of the decree, which came into effect on August 10 but needed the green light of the assembly to remain in force.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s minority coalition government lacks a working majority in parliament but it managed to pass the rules with the support of smaller regional parties.

“Common sense, healthy politics and policies that defend the general interest triumphed today in parliament,” Sánchez told a press conference in Quito where he was on an official visit after the vote.

Under the government decree, air conditioning must be turned down and set at no lower than 27 degrees Celsius during the warmest months of the year, in rules affecting everything from public transport to shops, offices, theatres and cinemas.

The new rules do not apply to home air conditioning, although people are encouraged to consume less energy domestically.

During the summer months, temperatures across Spain often hit 40C or higher.

The legislation also affects heating in winter, when temperatures can be set no higher than 19C.

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EurActiv, 26 Aug 2022: Spain’s parliament approves energy saving plan