The government is on Wednesday going to announce new incentives to general government entities for reducing energy consumption, with Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and Alternate Finance Minster Thodoros Skylakakis also calling on all public buildings to raise their air conditioning level to 26-27 degrees Celsius.
The package of immediate energy-saving measures for the summer season, when use of air conditioners soars, will also include a reduction in streetlight electricity consumption.
The Finance Ministry will provide increased funding (bonuses) to general government agencies (ministries, municipalities etc) that heed the recommendations and reduce their consumption.
As there is no direct way to control the operating temperature of the air conditioners, the response to the government recommendations will be evaluated based on the comparison of electricity bills for the reference period (e.g. July-August 2022) with the corresponding two months of the previous year; and if consumption is found to be lower by a percentage to be set, then the overachieving entity will be rewarded with increased budget funds.
For the implementation of the measure, the Finance Ministry will operate an electronic platform in which the data and consumption of each public building will be registered. The Regulatory Authority for Energy has made a complete record of the energy consumption of each public building during the winter and summer months and has calculated the savings that will result from an adjustment of the air conditioners for cooling and heating.
The “Operation Thermostat” plan is already being implemented in Italy and Spain, and was recently indirectly referred to by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis: “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,” he had said some 10 days ago, referring to a cohesive plan the government would present soon.