Spain’s parliament upholds energy-saving measures
Package includes subsidized public transport, rules on heating, cooling in some buildings
The Spanish parliament ratified a sweeping package of new measures Thursday to save energy and help the country pull through an energy crisis.
A majority support for the bill will solidify it into legislation instead of becoming a government decree.
Key points aimed at helping the EU cope without Russian natural gas include keeping air conditioners above 27 degrees Celcius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in public buildings, shops, cultural spaces or transit stations in the summer and heating below 19 degrees in the winter.
Shops and public buildings must also turn off lights at 10 p.m. and keep doors automatically closed.
The bill expands subsidies for public transport, such as free access to short-medium distance trips on state-owned rail lines and will require thousands of buildings to undergo inspections related to energy efficiency.
Spain's government said to expect another round of energy-savings measures soon, as the country aims to meet its promise to the EU to cut gas usage by 7% in the next year.
But the approved package goes beyond just saving energy, much to the chagrin of some of Spain’s opposition parties.
“We are aware that we must enact measures, but the government is presenting us with a mix of different proposals,” said Cuca Gamarra, secretary general of the Popular Party, whose members voted against the bill.
Other measures include €450 million ($448 million) in direct aid to transport companies, €100 ($99.6) scholarships to post-secondary students and removing coronavirus restrictions at Spanish airports.
In the first session that parliament reconvened after a summer break, policymakers passed legislation related to sexual consent and violence, wildfire preparedness and self-employed workers.
News ID : 1179