The Spanish government’s controversial energy saving measures which come into force today, 10th August, is raising temperatures as a heated debate between industry and regional governments on one hand, and the central government on the other, takes hold.
The regional governments of Madrid and Castilla y León and Andalucía are among those which have protested the measures.
Madrid´s regional premier, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, saying clearly that her government would not comply with the measures – nor enforce them – because the plan “scares away tourism” and “causes darkness and sadness”.
She announced that Madrid will be appealing the official decree in the courts.
The measures aim to prevent offices, public buildings, cultural venues, shops and other retail outlets from setting air conditioning below 27°C during the summer months part of a wider initiative to limit Spain´s energy consumption as a result of the EU wide initiative to reduce the blocks Russian gas dependency following the attack on Ukraine.
El argumentario de La Moncloa, “la insolidaridad de Madrid”, podrá ser todo lo demagógico que quiera.
Pero no puede tapar la verdad. pic.twitter.com/fcVDuFi6KE
— Isabel Díaz Ayuso (@IdiazAyuso) August 8, 2022
The package of measures includes that retail establishments must turn off shop window lighting by 10pm.
A maximum of 19°C for heating is allowed in commercial premises over the winter.
However, the government has faced a wave of criticism and was forced to issue an edict to exempt hospitals, universities, schools and kindergartens, public transport and hairdressing salons.
Bars, restaurants, and certain shops will also be able to use air conditioning “at around 25 degrees” and not the 27 degrees originally announced.
Spain has been battered by one of the hottest heatwaves in memory with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees for much of the last two months and little – and in many regions – no rain.
The emergency measures are set to remain in place until 1st November 2023.
The government hopes that this will reduce the country´s energy consumption by 7% over the duration.