Spain: new energy-saving regulations
The Spanish government has adopted a series of "emergency measures", including stringent regulations for air conditioning and lighting in public buildings, in a bid to save energy and use it more efficiently. The country aims to reduce gas consumption by seven percent in line with the EU's emergency plan. The Spanish press welcomes the measures but urges caution.
We need to change our habits
El País sees only positive aspects to the energy-saving efforts:
“It is not only strategic reasons that should lead us to implement this plan. Although Spain is not dependent on Russian gas it is dependent on the international markets. ... Moreover, the proposed measures will also have an environmental impact. The 2022 crisis has led us to set aside our climate targets temporarily by subsidising hydrocarbons and reactivating coal-fired power generation. ... Saving energy can help us to redirect efforts towards the targets envisaged for 2030 and 2050, because even with accelerated investment in renewables, we cannot avoid the fact that we need to modify our energy consumption patterns.”
Madrid a little power-drunk
El Mundo questions whether the government's new rules are in line with the constitution:
“Our authorities have a lot of work to do in terms of educating the population and raising awareness. ... The need for a collective effort is undeniable. However, first there should be a calm analysis of whether these regulations and the resulting encroachments on civil liberties are compatible with the indispensable legal framework. ... The expanded powers this government attained to deal with the pandemic already led it to commit abuses and serious mistakes such as the alarm decrees, which turned out to be unconstitutional.”