Argentina Announces Energy Saving Plan, Takes Back DST After 14 Years

Good news for TreeHuggers in Argentina came just in time for Christmas this year: ten days after assuming as president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced a National Energy Saving Plan. Among its main measures, it includes readopting Daylight Saving Time (which hasn't been used since 1993), regulating temperatures of air conditionings in public buildings, encouraging consumer credits for more efficient home appliances, and modernizing street and traffic lights.

Even though Argentina has been crying for a plan like this for the last two years, former president Nestor Kirchner was reluctant to launch it.

Learn details about the plan and its politic background in the extended. ::Via Clarin newspaper

Picture: From left to right: vice president Julio Cobos, president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, chief of Ministries Alberto Fernandez, and Federal Planning Minister Julio de Vido; during the launch of the energy plan.Argentina's energy crisis has been a hot theme at least for the last two years, since it became evident that the country could not live through its energy consumption.

It was a long time until former president Nestor Kirchner accepted the country had a problem, and since then, some (but not enough) measures were announced. Among them, the ratification of the country's nuclear plan, and a presidential resolution that forced companies to reduce their energy consume in winter.

However, Kirchner (who is also the husband of actual president Cristina Fernandez), was particularly inactive in the launch of an energy saving plan that involved society. According to Pagina 12 newspaper, "he considered that consume was a key factor to energize economy and increase working classes self-esteem."

It was interesting then to see the announcement of a plan just ten days after her wife assumed the presidency.

The main measures of the plan, according to the official release, are:

-The readopting of Daylight Saving Time, which Argentina hasn't used since 1993. According to a law sanctioned by the congress, citizens will have to advance their clocks one hour starting on December 30, 2007, at 12 am, and until March 16, 2008, at 12 am.

-Improvement of public lighting efficiency, by replacing old lamps and installing sensors to detect faults and verify the correct switch of lights.

-The set of air conditioning at a temperature at least over 24 degrees Celsius, prohibition of stand by computers and appliances, and limited night lighting in public buildings.

-A massive campaign to encourage the change of regular bulbs for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) on private environments, by offering 25 million lamps at promotional prices in supermarkets during the next three years.

According to Clarin newspaper, it will also include the promotion of credits for consume for people to change their old home appliances for low-consuming ones.

During the act to launch this plan, president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner justified the energy crisis saying that, "When Nestor Kirchner assumed, the country lacked investment in the energetic sector due to an economic model that did not demand energy because it was based on the drive of the services area, speculation and transfers."

Then, she said that after having increased production and diversified the energetic matrix, it was now time to enter "the social responsibility stage." ::Original article ::Official release

Tags: Argentina | Energy | Latin America