The Plenary of the Congress of Deputies approved on Thursday the decree on measures for energy savings. The regulation contemplates measures with the objective of reducing consumption to tackle the current energy crisis derived from geopolitical tensions with Russia by the invasion in Ukraine.
Green light for the decree law with 187 votes in favor and 161 against and one abstention.. It will be dealt with as a draft law so that political groups can make amendments to the final text. It also includes aid for rail transport, among which are free of charge certain Renfe subscriptions, as well as scholarships and study grants.
Raquel Sánchez, Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, has welcomed the adoption of a text with “unprecedented measures” that will help Spanish residents, especially the middle and working classes. In the debate, Sánchez asked the parties “consensus” to approve a plan that is part of Spain’s “solidarity” response with the rest of Europe to reduce Russia’s dependence on gas.
Finally, the Government has had sufficient support to carry out the royal decree. PNV confirmed that it would vote in favor, and although ERC and Bildu did not want to reveal their vote, in the end they do not oppose the measure of the Executive.
On the contrary, PP, Vox and Ciudadanos have voted against and reject the rule. Thus have the votes against these formations: PP, 89; Vox, 52; Ciudadanos, 9.
Since the PP have demanded to negotiate another decree, mainly with traders, “the main affected”, so that Spain achieves a reduction in consumption through recommendations: “They are not recommendations, but obligations. There is a huge difference between imposing something and recommending. Spaniards are responsible and aware. This recommendation will be accepted if it is compatible with the exercise of their economic activity”, they have assured.
In Ciudadanos, “the blackmail” of the Executive to validate the decree law “is no longer accepted”. The group rejects the parliamentary procedure because it is a “very typical promise”. ” What we are not going to admit in any way are energy saving measures that impose a series of sacrifices on companies and citizens when the government is not willing to assume any in an oversized administration,” said deputy spokesman Edmundo Bal.
In Vox the situation is no different. Iván Espinosa de los Monteros has warned that the ‘no’ of the party responds to the fact that the energy saving plan applies “tremendous cuts”.
President Pedro Sánchez, who continues his tour of Latin America, has acknowledged that he is not surprised by the negative of the formations. ” The news would be that he supported some decree. Everyone will have to explain the reasons why they vote against a royal decree that is important in an inflationary context for the working middle class,” the president said.
The measures of the energy saving plan
Among the measures related to energy savings approved today in Congress are:
- Blackout of shop windows and light facades: from 22:00 hours all buildings that have already closed must have the lights turned off. This also includes public buildings.
- Temperature at 27 degrees in summer and 19 degrees in winter: any building that performs a service to the citizen is obliged to maintain a minimum temperature, indoors, of 27 degrees in summer and 19 degrees in winter, at most, although there are exceptions. The buildings that must comply with this standard are administrative, including office areas and areas of public use; those of the commercial sector, as all types of shops and supermarkets; cultural, such as cinemas and museums; restoration, ie all kinds of bars, pubs and restaurants; transport, whether train stations, buses or airports. On the other hand, training centres such as schools, universities and nurseries, health services such as hospitals, vehicles, aircraft and boats, hotel rooms and other services such as laundries, gyms and hairdressers are not required to do so.
- Doors with automatic closing system: it is sought to keep the doors closed and thus avoid a greater expenditure of energy by the air conditioning. Those buildings that meet the requirements of temperature restrictions must implement an automatic and efficient closed door system to reduce energy waste. This is one of the measures most commented and rejected by the establishments, as it carries an extra expense.
- Information posters: the Government obliges all the buildings involved to indicate, by means of a poster, all the energy saving measures it has carried out.
- The energy efficiency inspection: this inspection will be carried out ahead of time and must be carried out by those whose last inspection was carried out before January 1, 2021. If not, they will have to make a new one before the end of the year.
The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has detailed that the decree, which “is approved as a response to the consequences of war in Ukraine”, has a triple objective: to promote public transport, implement scholarships to study and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and energy consumption. ” This decree is Europe, efficiency and common sense,” said Raquel Sánchez.