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Chueca Square in Madrid
Photograph: Raul Bal /

Spain is banning people from setting their air-con below 27C

The Spanish government is trying save energy and reduce dependency on Russian oil and gas

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

If you’re heading to Spain this summer, prepare to feel a bit toastier than usual. The Spanish government has just passed a decree that makes it illegal in lots of public places to set the air-conditioning below 27C.

The rule applies to public buildings such as airports, bars, cinemas, rail stations, shopping centres and theatres. While the law doesn’t apply to households, Spaniards are being encouraged to follow the same rules at home.

And it isn’t just summer air-con temperatures that are being targeted by Spain’s new law. Come winter, public buildings also won’t be allowed to set their heating above 19C, while lights in shop windows will be required to be turned off by 10pm.

So what’s the point of all this? Well, the Spanish government primarily wants to reduce energy consumption. Like the rest of the EU, Spain has committed to reduce energy consumption by seven percent and lower the country’s dependency on Russian oil and gas.

Plus, there are other benefits to using less energy. While most of us remain dependent on fossil fuels as an source of electricity, consuming less energy means that we emit fewer emissions. Spain’s new energy decree comes into effect on August 9 and will remain enforced until November 2023.

In the meantime, Spain is in the midst of a very, very hot summer indeed. Following two heatwaves in July, temperatures this week on the Iberian peninsula are, once again, expected to hit 40C.

You can keep up to date Spain’s scorching summer with the Met Office’s weather forecasts here.

Did you see that scientists reckon 50C summers in Europe could become the norm

Plus: you can stay in this spectacular cave house in Spain.

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