The Spanish Industry Ministry has approved new rules limiting temperatures in public and commercial buildings including shops and restaurants. This is one of the main measures contained in Spain's energy saving and efficiency plan for 2008-11.
The new rules will apply to the interior of buildings and air-conditioned premises that have administrative, commercial, leisure and cultural purposes, as well as in transport stations, in order to reduce their energy consumption.
The air temperature in heated buildings will not be higher than 21º C, while in air-conditioned buildings it will not be lower than 26º C, with a relative humidity that must be kept between 30-70% in both cases. Another energy saving rule will require buildings with access to the street to have a door closing system to prevent them from being permanently open.
Part of the "Renove" funding program for tourist infrastructures, which had a total of 500 mln. available in 2009, will finance energy-efficient buildings. The new rules also require all government buildings to meet the status of "highly efficient".
Obviously, this initiative has the potential to affect the retail property industry, as the temperature band proposed is quite limited given the extremes of temperature in some regions.
In a separate development, the government announced a 14m grant to nine regional authorities to co-finance the closure of illegal landfills and the installation of equipment to collect bio-gas. Last year, the European Commission issued a final warning to Spain to close 87 illegal sites.
Sources: ENDs, Spanish Industry Ministry