Galician cities plan to adopt several measures with a view to the entry into force of the energy saving decree on Wednesday, August 10, with a variation of measures. Thus, Lugo’s decision to stop monuments like the Wall of Lugo after 10pm runs counter to the announcement by Santiago Mayor Xosé Sánchez Bugallo that the lighting of iconic buildings like the cathedral will continue.
Limit the use of air conditioning to 27 degrees in summer and heating to 19 degrees in winter in public buildings, commercial premises, shops, transport infrastructure (airports, train and bus stations), cultural spaces and hotels, as well as turning off lights of shop windows and public buildings uninhabited after 10pm. It goes into effect on Wednesday.
This is what appears in the first package of energy saving and efficiency measures approved by the government to rapidly reduce energy consumption with the aim of fulfilling European commitments arising from the conflict in Ukraine. It will be valid until November 1, 2023.
Among the seven Galician cities, Lugo declared decorative lighting for: the cathedral, the wall, the facade of the City Hall, the facade of Igrexa de San Fruelán, the facade of the Garabullos barracks, the White Bridge, the river crossing, the facade from the Municipal Sports Palace, the Chanca Bridge and San Marcos Braza Mayor Street, archaeological remains of Campo Castillo, Ferrol and Quiroga Ballesteros squares.
On the other hand, the mayor of Santiago, Xosé Sánchez Bugallo, announced that the lighting of the city’s landmarks will not be turned off after consulting the Ministry of Environmental Transformation about the energy-saving ordinance. “The official answer we have is that the external lighting of the monuments will not have to be turned off”, says Bugalo in an interview with TV Galega. He also said that there is “some concern” about closing shop windows, because the “demand” of citizens is going through “more lighting”. On the part of the Municipality of A Coruña, it is ensured that all measures are applied in the municipal facilities and informative posters will be placed to remember the rules.
The Vigo City Council has announced that it will comply with the government decree. The mayor, Abel Caballero, stressed that the city already has an energy saving plan, with a budget of 2 million euros from municipal resources to replace traditional lighting with LED.
This means “very significant” savings, with LED lighting going from 28% of all lights in Vigo to 36%. A local council member stated that “this covers more than the Spanish government’s request to provide 7% of the energy”.
Likewise, he highlighted that turning on and off public lighting in the city of Olívica is related to the degree of light intensity, and that in the most lit streets, after certain hours of the night, the number of lamps is reduced. “We continue to adjust all this and do it more effectively”, added the consultant, who stressed that special care is now being taken so that lights are not left in public buildings, among other things.
Last Monday, the spokeswoman for the Pontevedra municipality, Anabel Golias, informed that the technical services are studying the measures and compliance with the energy saving ordinance, as well as its impact on the city.
Sources from the Municipality of Ourense told Europa Press that they are “studying” and “collecting data” during this Tuesday on compliance with the ordinance.
These measures refer only to the decorative lighting of buildings, not taking into account the public lighting network in order to guarantee safety on the streets.
The government is already trading off the buildings
On the part of the Ministry of the Presidency, it was communicated to Europa Press that it is “already applied” since last Monday to turn off the external lighting of administrative and judicial buildings from 22:00.
In addition, the temperature of administrative and judicial facilities will be kept “immediately” at a maximum of 27 degrees. Likewise, Xunta highlights the investments in these properties in recent years to improve efficiency, as well as various measures in the area of savings.
In this way, the provisions of the energy saving shock plan are insisted upon. On the same Tuesday, the president of Xunta, Alfonso Rueda, confirmed that Galicia would comply and that “in principle” it would not appeal the decision. But he warned that the measures would not be “helpful”.
Outside the Xunta, other institutions such as the Parliament of Galicia ensure that the energy saving measures contained in the decree will be complied with.
Galician Hotel Owners: “The Decree Does Not Affect US”
For their part, the Galician Hotel Associations made it clear to their members that the closing measure after 22:00 does not affect the hotel business, but the shop windows. Likewise, it is indicated that every building must have an occupational risk prevention manual that includes the ideal temperature for workers to carry out their work safely.
According to the Instituto Galego de Segurança no Trabalho e Saúde (ISGA), in the regulations for light work, such as those carried out by waiters, the temperature must be between 14 and 25 degrees.
Looking ahead, hotel associations remind establishments that from 30 September, they will have to automatically lock access doors to prevent them from being permanently opened – for example, a self-closing lever.
In recent days, the president of the Galician Trade Federation, José Maria Segas, has attacked the government’s energy-saving measures, which he called “unconscious and inconsistent”.
Lugo’s businessman complains: “As always, it’s up to the company to make the bad operations that eventually go ahead.” It is clear from Seijas that these restrictions “will not affect ‘energy savings’, whether by closing shop windows or having to adjust everything that points to the new door systems.”