SPAIN’S new energy contingency plan will reduce gas bills for 1.6 million households who live in condominiums that have a shared community boiler.
The news came on Tuesday as the Council of Ministers approved a 73 point plan to cut energy consumption.
Current rules mean condominium residents are not eligible for the regulated TUR gas rate that’s cheaper than ‘free market’ tariffs.
Ecological Transition Minister, Teresa Ribera, said the government had approved a price cut, but could not specify how it would offer the discounts.
“We have to decide whether to create a new tariff or to extend the voucher that can cover condominiums,” said Ribera.
“It is time to find a solution for community boilers, which consume more than 50,000 kilowatt hours per year and, therefore, are outside the regulated rate,” she added.
The government will seek to reduce national natural gas consumption by as much as 13.5% in the period between August and March under the new energy contingency plan which consists of 73 measures.
Ribera said that overall reductions were currently 4.6%. but wanted a minimum target of 6.4%- much lower than that of other EU countries due to Spain’s ability to self-generate power through wind, solar, and renewables.
She said that Spain is currently supplying around 35% of Portugal’s power supply and around 5% used in France.
The plan will promote self-generated energy and provide aid and tax breaks on renewable energy as well as subsidised loans for small businesses investing in energy efficiency.
One part of the plan calls for a review of all outdoor lighting but does not establish any limit on Christmas lights put up by individual municipalities.
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