Spain recently announced measures to reduce energy consumption by preventing offices, shops, and other venues from setting air conditioning below 27°C in the summer.
The move follows EU countries’ attempts to limit dependency on Russian gas. Although Spain is not as dependent on Russian energy supplies as many other EU countries, it has agreed to a seven to eight percent reduction in gas use.
The decree, published on Tuesday morning, will also stop heating from being raised above 19°C in the winter.
This policy will apply to all public and commercial buildings, including bars, cinemas, theaters, airports and train stations, and it has been recommended that Spanish households follow suit.
Teresa Ribera, Spain’s ecological transition minister, said the measures, which include switching off store window lights after 10 pm but not street lighting, would initially be maintained until November 2023.
She encouraged Spaniards in general to also adopt this practice, saying it would not only reduce consumption levels but also bring down households’ energy bills.
Greece follows Spain’s example on energy savings
Greece has also announced measures to cut energy consumption.
Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas announced a list of measures described as necessary if Europe is to cut its consumption of natural gas by fifteen percent. These measures might, nevertheless, also apply if Russia were to cut off natural gas supplies to Europe.
The Greek minister said that initially, municipalities will have to take the lamps out of ten percent of their street lights and switch off lighting on monuments at 3 a.m.
To begin with, the measures will be voluntary but could become mandatory if not enough local authorities voluntarily participate in the move.
Skrekas has also warned that, as a last resort, households could face periodic outages.
“We must all understand that we cannot behave as if nothing’s happening around us,” the minister said. “There is a war that is destroying a country and is also feeding an energy crisis the likes of which we have never seen…we must all realize we cannot waste energy.”
An extensive campaign to urge households to cut their energy consumption will take place.
“Of course, the measure of last resort is an imposed consumption cut on household consumers through rolling blackouts…we cannot exclude anything,” Skrekas said.