The new air conditioning rules in Spain you need to know before your next trip

Tourists traveling to Spain have felt the heat after new rules were introduced across the country last week. While respite from the scorching temperatures could normally have been found in the form of a café or a shop, the latest air conditioning regulations mean that many outlets are limited to how much they can cool in their building.

The temporary law was approved by the Spanish government with the aim of reducing the energy resources used throughout the country. The strict measures came into effect on Wednesday August 10 and are expected to remain in place for over a year.

According to the National Grid, energy consumption in Spain fell by 5.3% on the first day the rules were put in place. With the country experiencing many extreme heat waves this year, similar temperatures while these restrictions are in place are likely to cause concern for those still traveling.

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What are the new air conditioning rules in Spain?

Current rules prohibit some public buildings from setting their air conditioning below 27C. Those affected include supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and airports.

While hotel lobbies and other common areas are included, visitors will be pleased to learn that hotel rooms are not. Indeed, they are classified as private spaces.

Also exempt are public transport, hospitals, schools and hairdressers. Limitations have also been imposed for winter, with buildings and premises included in the rule not allowed to increase their heating above 19°C.

The temporary rules are unlikely to only affect travelers visiting Spain this summer, as the rules are expected to last until November 2023. This means visitors to Spain could also see the same restrictions in place in the summer next.

Why are air conditioning rules in place in Spain?

Spain’s move to monitor indoor temperatures in public spaces is part of a European Union deal to cut gas consumption by 15% to prepare for the supply cut Russian as part of the ongoing Ukrainian war. The country was baked in 40C heat for parts of the summer, experiencing the second hottest month on record since 1950 in July.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez urged residents to follow suit wherever possible to help the national and global effort to reduce its dependence on energy. In addition to restricted air conditioning units, stores and government buildings must turn off lights at night, although street lights are still in use.


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