After approving the package of urgent energy saving and efficiency measures, shops, department stores, cinemas and hotels –among others– will have to limit the use of air conditioning to 27 degrees in winter and not exceed 19 degrees heating in winter. In addition, they must have the doors closed to prevent cold or heat from entering, and they must turn off the lights in their shop windows after 10:00 p.m. With these guidelines, comes the controversy: does it harm establishments or not?
“While waiting to see what prices electricity reaches in winter, it is expected that these energy saving habits will translate into savings in merchants’ bills. Without going any further, each degree that we raise the air conditioner is calculated a 10% savings on the bill. For a use of the device for about three hours a day, going from 24 to 27 degrees would mean a saving of about 8-10 euro per month. Although, obviously, this will depend on the characteristics and efficiency of the device itself and the price per kilowatt”, Concha Molina, head of marketing at Gana Energía says.
That is the thesis that has made the Hospitality Association to support the Government’s initiative. Its president, José Luis Yzuel, has celebrated that thanks to this cut “they will be able to save.” Although he has pointed out that the law is made “hurriedly” and with “some errors” such as clashes with other regulations such as the Occupational Hazards Law, which allows the temperature to be programmed at 25 degrees.
The law has exempted from the execution of these measures the kitchens of restaurants and hairdressers, where temperatures are already high enough; as well as health centres and hospitals, which are also left out.
The Association of Manufacturers of Air Conditioning Equipment (AFEC) go further and specify that businesses will save between 6 and 8% on gas for each degree they drop – although they do not dare to give an exact figure because everything will depend on the premises conditions.
The other measure that all the premises will have to carry out will be to close the doors, something frowned upon from the point of view of business marketing because it marks out access to the premises and therefore “impulse consumption” is not encouraged. Even so, from AFEC they are in favour of doing it to save energy, provided that there is adequate ventilation inside the premises.
“In France, without going any further, it has been forbidden for businesses to have their doors open while the air conditioning and heating are working, on the grounds that having them open is 20%”, they explain from the Association of Manufacturers of Equipment of Air conditioning.
With this saving plan, the Government intends to save the objective of reducing energy consumption by 7% as required by the European Commission, although in September it is expected that the executive will approve a stricter contingency plan in the event that Russia cuts gas to Europe.