Spain: Stores must keep doors shut, limit AC to save energy

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. hospitality / ˌhɒs pɪˈtæl ɪ ti / (n.) – the activity or business of providing food, drinks, entertainment, and other services to visitors and guests

    I’ve always wanted to work in the hospitality industry, so I applied for a job in several hotels.

  2. dependency / dɪˈpɛn dən si / (n.) – the state of needing something that one cannot function or operate without

    The country is looking for renewable energy sources to ease its dependency on fossil fuels.

  3. surpass / sərˈpæs / (v.) – to be greater than something in amount, extent, degree, etc.

    The number of students who joined this year’s field trip surpassed last year’s.

  4. in a row / ɪn ə roʊ / (idiom) – used to describe the same activity happening several times, one after the other

    The basketball team won four times in a row.

  5. forecast / ˈfɔrˌkæst / (v.) – to say that something will happen in the future based on the data available

    The reporter forecasted that the weekend will be stormy.


Read the text below.

Spanish offices, stores, and hospitality venues will no longer be allowed to set their cooling systems below 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer nor raise heating above 19 degrees Celsius in the winter under a new set of energy-saving measures passed August 1.

Shops will also be obliged to keep doors closed and heating systems must be checked more often to increase efficiency under the new measures, Spanish Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said.

The measures include switching off store window lights after 10 p.m. Street lighting will not be affected.

The government passed the bill as part of a bid to reduce the country’s gas consumption by 7% in line with the recent European Union energy agreements to limit dependency on Russian gas.

Ribera said the measures would initially be maintained until November 2023.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the new package saying, “You just need to walk into a shopping mall to realize that maybe the temperature is set too low.”

Spanish public institutions already operate similar energy-saving regulations.

The government says the measures will not only save energy but will also bring down bills for households and businesses.

Spain is one of the hottest European countries in summer. The country has already had two heat waves this year with temperatures often surpassing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for several days in a row. Temperatures were forecasted to soar again in the first weeks of August.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think the new measures to set a minimum or maximum temperature for ACs and heaters are reasonable? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think this kind of initiative will be received well and followed accordingly in your country? What about the time set for switching off store window lights? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Are you mindful of saving energy during summer and winter? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do you usually do to deal with the summer’s heat? What about the winter’s cold? Discuss.