Responding to Europe’s energy crisis, Spain has controversially banned air conditioning from dropping below 27°C (80.6°F) in the summer.
The new government decree, which applies to a whole host of public buildings as well as shops, hotels and other venues, will also stop heating from being raised above 19°C during the winter. “The rules will be mandatory in all public and commercial buildings, including bars, cinemas, theatres, airports and train stations,” reports EuroNews.
Ominously, the report also notes that the action is “extended as a recommendation to Spanish households,” meaning it could one day become mandatory similar to hosepipe bans and be enforced by fines. The government passed the bill to meet a demand by the European Union to “limit dependency on Russian gas.”
The new measures will be enforced by onerous fines that could run to a maximum of €600,000 for “serious violations.”
Spaniards responded by complaining that working indoors in 27°C would be too hot.
“Right now, perhaps suggested by the heat wave we are experiencing, I would say that with 27 degrees we will be very hot,” said Andrea Castillo, a worker at Castellón university. “Perhaps we could work at 25 degrees, but not at 27.”
Spain setting how low you can have your Aircon follows Germany's largest residential landlord, which owns around 490,000 properties, imposing energy rationing that will cut heating to tenants at night. Hamburg’s environment minister warned Germans that hot water could be rationed and limits on maximum room temperatures introduced as a result of the energy crisis. Earlier this year, Italy also announced it would start rationing energy to ‘support Ukraine’, with public buildings banned from running air conditioning at lower than 25 degrees or heating higher than 19 degrees, whilst the EU commission has told European citizens that they should 'support Ukraine' by taking fewer showers and not washing their clothes.