People urged to use less air conditioning to dodge Russian energy

The agency has advised people to raise their air conditioner’s temperature, drive slower and avoid short-haul flights

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the European Commission have outlined a range of measures that people could implement to shun Russian energy and save on their bills.

The recommendations, which were presented by IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol and European Commission Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul Jørgensen, include turning down heating, using less air conditioning, working from home when possible and car-pooling or travelling by public transport when available.

According to the plan’s findings, turning down the thermostat by just 1°C could save around 7% of the energy used for heating, while setting an air conditioner 1°C warmer could reduce the amount of electricity used by up to 10%.

By following all steps in the plan, the typical EU household could save, on average, close to €500 (£417) a year, though the amounts would vary depending on the household’s size, location and access to public transport, the authors of the report have suggested.

If all EU citizens were to follow the recommendations at home and in their workplace, it would save 220 million barrels of oil a year and around 17 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Dr Birol said: “Using less energy is a concrete way to help the Ukrainian people – and to help ourselves.”

The presentation of these energy saving actions followed a similar campaign launched in Italy – public organisations have been urged to keep their air conditioning at 25°C or above from next month.

The Italian energy rationing initiative, named “operation thermostat” aims to reduce dependency on gas.

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