Spain is the latest European country to mandate temperature setting limits as part of its energy-saving measures, as the region grapples with the scorching heat that’s pushing up energy prices and the increasing pressure to wean itself off of Russian gas amid Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
In a decree published Tuesday, the Spanish government has announced that air conditioning temperatures in the summer must be set at 27 degrees Celcius (about 80 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher for all public places, and that doors of these places must remain closed to conserve energy.
The public places described in the decree include shops, bars, theaters, as well as airports, train stations, and offices. The decree also extends the temperature recommendation to households as an urgent plea to save energy.
But of course, not everyone is happy with — well — the temperature.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has publicly talked about how the country urgently needs to save energy, going as far as telling office workers to take off their ties to help keep themselves cool. “I’ve asked ministers and public and private sector bosses not to wear ties unless it’s necessary,” he said at a press conference last week, causing some people to scratch their heads in confusion.
Come winter, these public places will be mandated to keep heating temperatures at 19 degrees Celcius (about 66 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower. These temperature limits will be implemented until at least November of next year.
The decree is part of the goal to reduce Spain’s gas consumption by 7%, making it compliant with the recent energy agreements to reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas.
Greece and Italy last month announced similar energy-saving measures, also requiring public buildings to keep their air conditioning set to no higher that 27 degrees Celsius. France, meanwhile, will also be fining air-conditioned establishments that leave their doors open.
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