CONGRESS on Thursday backed the government’s energy-saving plan by 187 votes to 161 with one abstention.

The package, part of a European Union plan to reduce dependence on gas, was introduced this month by the Council of Ministers, but needed parliamentary approval for it to continue.

Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, said: ”Common sense, healthy politics and policies that defend the general interest triumphed today in Congress.”

The Partido Popular(PP) along with Vox and Ciudadanos voted against the plan meaning that the ruling minority PSOE-Podemos coalition once again had to rely on the votes of smaller parties to win a key vote.

The PP described the plan as ‘improvised’ and harmful for the economy, with no consultation with business groups or regional governments that have to enforce the measures.

Public air conditioning can be set no lower than 27 degrees during the warmest months of the year, in rules affecting everything from public transport to shops, offices, theatres and cinemas.

Shop window lights and those at public buildings have to be turned off at 10.00 pm.

The new rules do not apply to home air conditioning, although people are encouraged to consume less energy domestically.

By the end of September, any air-conditioned or heated premises must have an automatic door-closing mechanism installed to avoid energy waste.


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