The Spanish government will not require customers to restrict their gas use, said Energy Minister Teresa Ribera on Thursday, after Spain announced its opposition to a European Union plan to reduce gas usage.

“We will not introduce in a law an obligation to set the temperature of homes’ thermostats,” she declared in an interview with Cadena SER, a local radio station. However, she said that the government would advise people to save electricity.

She went on to say that the government will also safeguard industries’ gas use.

On Wednesday, the minister said that her government will resist a European Union plan to reduce gas use since the nation does not rely on Russian gas and had already invested in gas storage and liquefaction facilities. 

“The logic says that if our role in terms of solidarity is to be the reference in gas storage and re-exporting it is absurd to think we have capacity to reduce in absolute terms our gas imports,” Ribera stated.

The European Commission suggested a voluntary objective for all EU nations to reduce gas consumption by 15% from August to March, compared to their average consumption from 2016 to 2021. 

If the EU announces a significant danger of catastrophic gas shortages as a result of Moscow further curtailing supplies to Europe, the idea would allow Brussels to make the aim obligatory.

Several nations, including Austria, Germany, and Denmark, have said that they are exploring emergency preparations that might eventually include gas rationning. 

Other EU member nations, like Poland and Hungary, have expressed opposition to the EU proposal.

Source: Reuters

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