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What is the new energy saving plan and how does it affect your company?

Energy saving plan

The Spanish Government, in line with the energy and gas saving measures adopted by the European Union, together with the Council of Ministers, have approved in August the energy saving plan for air conditioning. In this post we will tell you what are the measures to be adopted, who is affected and what are the possible penalties in case of non-compliance. Stay until the end!

What does the energy saving plan consist of?

The energy crisis in Europe, caused firstly by the pandemic and secondly by the war between Russia and Ukraine, has prompted several countries to plan strategies to alleviate the problem.

According to the European Commission, Spain has prepared a package of measures that make up the current energy saving plan, which was approved on August 10 of this year. It was created in response to the threat of energy cuts by Russia as the coldest months of the year approach.

This set of regulations approved by the government aims to save up to 5% of energy, while the second part of the plan, approved by the Congress of Deputies, will allow savings of 7% throughout the country.

The new energy saving and efficiency plan 2022 has measures that, although they can mean a significant saving in the electricity bill of thousands of companies, some disagree about the impact it could have on small businesses. Those where raising the air conditioning thermostat could cause the absence of some customers.

Even so, the majority opinion is positive, considering that all European countries will have to restrain their energy expenditures in the coming months.

You may also be interested in: Consequences of the Ukrainian war in Spain

What will the new measures be and how will they affect companies?

Among the measures proposed to reduce energy costs and that will affect companies, you will find the following:

Energy saving plan

Temperature limitation

This is perhaps one of the most important measures and the one that gives rise to most debate, as it establishes a limit on the temperature of thermostats. In the case of air conditioning, during the summer, these could not exceed 27° C, being flexible down to 25° C for bars, restaurants and other businesses where staff perform physical work.

In winter, on the other hand, the temperature may not rise above 19° C. In both situations, health centers, training centers, gyms and hairdressing salons are excluded from the temperature limits. Also, means of transport such as ships, trains and others, as well as hotel rooms, but not the common areas of hotels.

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has specified that each establishment must justify not applying the temperature set forth in the Decree Law, always prioritizing the health and rights of its workers.

Automatic closing of doors

This measure requires that buildings and establishments included in the temperature restrictions have automatic door closing systems installed. The purpose of this system is to reduce energy consumption by preventing the entrances from being permanently open while the air conditioning or heating system is running.

Switching off shop windows

The regulation states that from 10:00 p.m. onwards, the lighting of shop windows in stores and public buildings must be turned off. At that time, they must be unoccupied.

The restriction does not include monuments, signage, street lighting, illuminated signs. These will be allowed to operate until after that time.

Other measures that companies should follow

In addition to those mentioned above, the Government’s energy saving plan establishes that companies must:

  • Display informative billboards detailing the measures established by law.
  • Display, by means of screens or other devices, the limits established for temperature and humidity.
  • In both cases, signs and displays must be visible from the entrance.

It is important to mention that all these measures are additional to those already established in the Regulation of Thermal Installations in Buildings (RITE).

On the other hand, the Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has called on large companies to implement teleworking. This is due to the significant savings in travel and energy consumption that these buildings require.

Who must comply with energy saving measures?

The Royal Decree-Law states that, as regards temperature regulation, this measure must be implemented inside buildings intended for the following uses:

Energy saving plan

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What exceptions are there?

There are certain exceptions worth mentioning. Regarding the temperature limit, the energy savings plan specifies the following exceptions:

Energy saving plan

Taking this into account, those centers or establishments that do not appear on the list must justify the non-application of the temperature limit. This must be based on the protection of the health of workers or users.

What will be the penalties for non-compliance with the energy savings plan?

A new energy efficiency inspection for companies is planned for December 31, 2022.

Thus, the penalties for businesses, spaces or buildings that fail to comply with the measures by the Government will be applied fines of up to 60,000 euros for minor infractions. The figure could rise to six million euros for serious infringements and up to one hundred million for those considered very serious.

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Although the measures of the energy saving plan are controversial, the objective is to reduce consumption and encourage savings. If you want to keep up to date on current affairs in Spain and how they affect your company, subscribe to our blog at TAS Consultancy! There we upload updated content every week, what are you waiting for?

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