Energy efficiency: what is thermostat operation in Italy

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The decree that prohibits air conditioning below 27 degrees and heating above 19 degrees comes into force

The measure affects public administration buildings, including schools

It is part of a package aimed at energy savings to deal with the Russian gas crisis in the country

Energy efficiency is a fundamental word in the challenge that Italy has to face in the coming months. The collateral consequences of the war: the energy crisis, inflation and the possible recession structure pose a harsh scenario for the Italian prime minister, mario draghi that, in this pre-election year, it has to launch a package of measures that can cushion the consequences. In addition, you must do so with the consensus of its complicated technical coalition. The great challenge is energy and this is the main concern of the Executive, all members of the Government, including Prime Minister Draghi, have repeated in recent press conferences that efforts are always going in that direction and that guaranteeing aid to the Italian economy He is at the center of his troubles.

The far-reaching strategy has been the diversification of energy suppliers, the danger of the stoppage in the supply of Russian gas threatened and Italy has deployed in recent weeks a map of international buyers to resolve, sooner rather than later, the crossroads of dependence on the Kremlin. In the battery of measures approved for this new energy plan, saving is the protagonist. a new norm just came into effect this week and aims to reduce consumption starting from public administration buildings. will be limited asI went to a maximum of 27 degrees in the air conditioning in the summer and 19 degrees on heating in winter. In both cases, two degrees of difference are contemplated, but not more. With this measure, the Government’s forecasts point to they will save about 4 billion cubic meters of gas. The measure will be maintained until March 31, 2023 and provides for fines from 500 to 3 thousand for those who fail to comply with the regulations.
Anna Laura Pisello, professor of Environmental Physics in the Department of Engineering at the University of Perugia and an expert in the field, explains this measure as a clear “awareness gesture”. “There were precedents in this line but now it is much more forceful and one or two degrees of difference can influence savings of up to 6% or 7% in final consumption”, he explains. That is why, the expert understands, that this measure, referring to public buildings, should serve as an example for a responsible use of energy, especially in this period of difficulty for Italy. “I think that in Europe in general the level of awareness is high, gestures such as turning off the light, closing the windows are understood and respected by the majority”, she explains. ACif half of Italian society, according to Istat data, has an air conditioner at home, a trend always on the rise in recent years. That is why the expert believes that it is essential to start with public and private use, where it is easier to make efforts, while in the industry it is not so simple. “We are a producing country, not just a consumer, it is much more complicated to save there, an oven needs 1400 degrees to work and it does not produce if the company is asked to lower the temperature. Now we need to focus on the practical levels,” she explains.

A similar rule already exists in Spain and here in Italy Draghi’s quote to the press a few weeks ago became almost a mantra: “Do we want peace or the air conditioning on?”. The dependence on Russian gas supplies Italy, but at the same time it finances the war every day with the enormous amount of money that the Kremlin enters with its international buyers of energy and oil. And that is precisely the intention, repeated on Monday at a press conference by Prime Minister Draghi and by the Minister for Ecological Transition: to reach the horizon of the end of 2024 having overcome energy dependence on Russia, or, what is the same, having replaced the 29 billion cubic meters of gas that are bought from the Kremlin. This measure is included in a decree that responds to a unitary strategy always oriented towards energy independence and that aims to draw a new horizon in the use of energy in Italy where saving will also be key.

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