Turn down heating to 20 degrees to save energy this winter
Luxembourg will be able to make huge energy savings by turning down the heating and lighting in government and commune buildings this winter, the president of the association of cities and communes said on Friday.
It comes after energy minister Claude Turmes said state buildings should be heated to a maximum of 20 degrees as part of Luxembourg’s attempt to save on energy as the threat of shortages this winter looms.
“Since communes are the owners of many buildings, controlling the heating system to reduce energy is the most significant measure because it is the easiest to put in place. But, reducing lighting has also a lot of potential”, Emile Eicher, president of Syvicol told RTL.
EU countries have agreed to decrease gas consumption by 15% from August until March, on a voluntary basis. Some countries, such as Spain and Germany, have already put measures in place. The German city of Trier, for instance, is cutting down on the lighting of the Porta Nigra gate.
Governments across the EU are scrambling ahead of projections that Russia, facing severe sanctions since invading neighbouring Ukraine six months ago, could cut off sales of gas used for residential heating and industrial companies. Several gas providers announced earlier this month that prices could climb by more than 80% from autumn onwards.
Luxembourg, where electricity is partly produced with gas, could see the cost of power rise by as much as 35% beginning next year, adding an average of about €300 to household bills, a spokesman for national energy provider Enovos said earlier this month.
Turning down the heating to 20 degrees “in all buildings where people work”, with exceptions including elderly care homes, will help on energy saving, Turmes told public radio station 100,7.
Strict measures on heating can be the most effective way for now to reduce gas consumption, Eicher said. Parts of heated buildings are not being used and this will stop, he added. Indoor and outdoor lighting will also be reduced, he said.