C: Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Staatssekretärin für Klimawandel in Spanien / CC BY-SA 2.0

Russian Gas Shortage: Spain asks citizens to restrict aircon, heating and public lighting 

The Spanish government has announced it will widen the scope of  moderation on the use of air conditioning, heating, and lighting as a way to limit dependency on Russian gas imports. 

Homes can only be heated up to 19 degrees in the winter, while cooling in the summer is to be capped at 27 degrees. 

Ecological Minister,  Teresa Ribera, said ‘doors of shops should be kept closed when heating and air conditioning is on, and that decorative lights on buildings should be switched off after 10pm’.

The Guardian reported,  “premises in question will be required to display signs or screens that explain the energy-saving initiatives.”

Spain has reportedly been hit by two heat waves so far this summer. 

The energy saving measures originally only affected the public sector, but as of the 9th of August the hospitality industry, shops, banks, and offices are expected to follow suit. 

Brussels has warned that EU member states should be prepared to cut energy usage by 15% while the Spanish agreed to a 7% reduction in efforts to avoid restrictions affecting the general public. 

Spanish media recently reported their government’s assurances that gas shortages were not on the cards as only 5% of Spain’s natural gas imports come from Russia. 

The Italian government introduced similar energy saving measures also restricting heating, air conditioning, and lighting. 

The 27 EU member states traditionally relied on Russia for 38% of natural gas imports: 

According to the World Economic ForumRussia has historically been the world’s leading exporter of natural gas and the second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. It has also been the EU’s leading supplier of imported oil, gas and coal, accounting for two-fifths of gas supplies, a quarter of crude oil deliveries and almost half of all shipments of solid fuel, such as coal.”

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