Fines of between 60,000 euros and 100 million for those who fail to comply with the energy saving plan

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The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, and the Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, warn the communities that they must "comply with the law" published this Tuesday in the BOE

Clara Dawn

Seven days. It is the term that locals and buildings have to adapt to the energy saving plan approved on Monday by the Government and that was published this Tuesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

The text does not include the sanctions that those who fail to comply with measures such as the air conditioning limit or the mandatory closures on the doors will have to face to avoid energy waste. However, sources from the Ministry of Industry explain that the sanctioning regime to be applied will be the one currently in force for non-compliance with the RITE (regulation of thermal installations in buildings) and that it is governed by Law 21/1992, of July 16, on Industry. .

According to the provisions of this sanctioning regime, infractions will be sanctioned with fines of up to 60,000 euros if they are minor. The serious ones will have to face a sanction of up to six million euros while the "very serious" ones could amount to one hundred million euros.

The problem is that these sanctions provided for in the current regulation are for cases that have nothing to do with those introduced in the new energy saving plan, so it is foreseeable that the Government will have to adjust the amount of the fines. In France, for example, the penalty for the use of air conditioning with the doors open amounts to 150 euros.

The current regulations do establish, in this sense, that regardless of the fines provided for "the sanctioning bodies (...) may impose coercive fines, in accordance with the provisions of article 103 of Law 39/2015, of 1 of October, of the Common Administrative Procedure of the Public Administrations. The amount of each of these fines shall not exceed 20% of the fine set for the offense committed.

Who will punish?

The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, expressed this Tuesday that the powers to control that the energy efficiency mechanisms are complied with belong to the autonomous communities, calling for a “solidarity response” to contribute to the strategic autonomy necessary to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

At this point, he alluded to the statements of the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who on Monday night already warned that the region will not comply with the plan that also includes blackouts starting at ten at night in buildings and monuments, as other European countries like Germany already do.

Shop windows and monuments will have to turn off their lights from ten at night

"A royal decree law must be complied with," Calviño sentenced during an interview on 'La Ser'. The economic vice president asked the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, to position himself before Ayuso's order, recalling that the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, a member of the European People's Party, has already warned that it is necessary to "prepare to the worst” in the face of a possible scenario of a cut in the supply of Russian gas.

For her part, the Third Vice President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, has also shown her confidence that all public officials "comply with the law and the efforts that are requested of us from Europe".

"The approved measures are very reasonable and I think that the public understands them very well," Calviño insisted. Specifically, and as stated in the royal decree published on Tuesday by the BOE, public buildings, commercial spaces and department stores, transport infrastructure (airports and train and bus stations), cultural spaces and hotels will have to limit 27 degrees the use of the air conditioning in summer and 19 degrees the heating in winter. Health, care and educational centers are excluded, as confirmed by Ribera.

The exemption will also be extended to “those work centers where for justified reasons it is necessary to accommodate this criterion to a more lax orientation”, since the health rights of workers must be respected, and to those that require a necessary temperature.

This package of measures, which complements the RITE, will also force the lights of shop windows and public buildings that are unoccupied to be turned off after 10:00 p.m., a measure for which they will have seven days to comply.

In the case of all these initiatives, the period for their application will be one week from their publication in the BOE and they will be valid until November 1, 2023.

Also that the decorative lighting of facades will be turned off from 10:00 p.m., while the regulation of exterior lighting will only affect buildings for public use, not ornamental ones, for example, Christmas lights.

Likewise, before September 30, both buildings and premises will be required to have automatic closures on the access doors to prevent them from being permanently open, with the consequent waste due to energy losses to the outside.

Likewise, posters must be incorporated to explain these saving measures in establishments, as well as to inform about temperatures and humidity levels.

The measures also include the requirement to undergo an extraordinary review before December 31, 2022 for those obligated buildings that have carried out the previous procedure before January 1, 2021, so that all buildings with relevant air conditioning consumption have passed an inspection in the last two years.

In this way, to quickly carry out energy improvement works in public administration buildings, they will be able to apply emergency contracting procedures. In addition, these contracts will be executed in less than a month from their formalization, according to the head of the branch.

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