Operation Thermostat: Higher Settings for A/C in Greece’s Buildings

ATHENS – At the same time as offering consumers subsidies up to half the price of buying new air  conditioners, Greece’s New Democracy government wants to cut back their use in public buildings with higher settings.

That will see air conditioners there required to go no lower than 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 Fahrenheit) said Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis if they get their way.

That’s part of plans to reduce energy consumption as costs are soaring and the government is shelling out subsidies up to 80 percent of nearly doubled electric bills that consumers can’t pay.

The A/C incentives for buyers also is aimed at having them get rid of older and less energy efficient models although there’s no practical way to have people raise the temperature in their own homes.

After brutal heat in the summer of 2021 and what government officials said is climate change continuing to make life hotter, it wasn’t said how the idea of higher temperatures in public buildings would be enforced.

With people cranking up their air conditioners in the summer, the government is looking at other ways to cut energy use, said Kathimerini, including reducing streetlight electricity.

The Finance Ministry will provide bonuses to general government agencies (ministries, municipalities etc) who reduce enery consumption but no report they would be ordered to do so.

There’s a problem though: the paper said there’s no way to control the operating temperature of A/C in public buildings so the bonuses will be doled out by reviewing previous electric usage.

Dubbed Operation Thermostat, the plan is based on those in Italy and Spain, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis earlier saying that, “With some minor changes to our behavior, we can save energy, spare some spending, and aid in the country’s effort to reduce its overall energy footprint.”

It wasn’t said if the A/C setting would be higher at his office in Maximos Mansion, or what would happen if there is another heat wave this summer when the government offers air-conditioned areas for the elderly and others.



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