Saving energy is more relevant than ever. The Ukraine war has caused energy prices to shoot through the roof, and at the same time there is a climate crisis that needs to be combated. As part of this, the Partij voor de Dieren(Pvd) wants to keep shop doors closed during opening hours.
The group therefore asked technical questions to see if the municipality can make rules for this. Councillor Jonas Roothans explains why the group would like to take this step. “Because of the Ukraine war and the sanctions we have imposed, energy prices have risen enormously. So much so that the cabinet has decided to re-open a coal-fired power station. That is disastrous for the environment,” says Roothans.
“At the same time, all over the city centre you can see that entrepreneurs have opened their doors wide. It’s strange, really, because you don’t do that at home either. But the heat when you’ve got the heating on, or the cool air when you’re using the air-conditioner is going straight out of the store, which is a terrible shame. If we could get entrepreneurs to all close their doors during opening hours, it would make a big difference”, says Roothans.
Willem-Jan Mollemans of the Jamin store in the city centre is unhappy with the idea. “It’s getting crazier and crazier with these airy fairy types in politics,” says Mollemans. “Something like that always costs us money, and we’ve just come through a difficult period. Even if all the entrepreneurs do it at the same time, it still reduces turnover, because you create a barrier for people to enter.”
Nevertheless, the PvdD believes that closed shop doors are feasible. “We’ve looked at the legislation, and we think it’s possible. We also hear from many people that they think it’s very logical not to keep shop doors open while the heating or air conditioning is on. Whether it is feasible? That remains to be seen,” says Roothans.
“Because in addition to closed doors, we would also like to do something about patio heaters being left outside in the winter. Because heating the air outside in the middle of winter is ridiculous. Yet there seems to be little a local authority can do about that. But keeping shop doors closed? I think that is possible. I expect a lot of good things from this council in that respect,” says the PvdD councillor.
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan