Czechia: The proposed regulation of reducing temperatures faces criticism

By Kristýna Čtvrtlíková
4 Min Read

The proposed regulation of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, according to which schools, hospitals, and households will have to reduce their temperature by up to six degrees Celsius due to the energy crisis, is causing outrage.

The operators of homes for the elderly criticized the draft legislation because, according to them, the proposed temperatures are too low for older people.

The proposed regulation includes a temperature reduction in the bathrooms and rooms of these facilities from 24 to 20 degrees. The ministry defends itself by saying the proposers consulted with health professionals.

“It is not permissible for the elderly to spend 100 percent of their time in spaces at 20°C and below. It is life-threatening to bathe frail seniors in a room heated to only 20 °C when they get cold quickly,” said Daniela Lusková, vice-president of the Association of Social Service Providers.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade responded to the daily Právo’s question regarding how the temperatures in the draft regulation were set, referring the editors to the Ministry of Health.

“The changes were based on professional scientific and health publications, and legal regulations already in force in, for example, Germany, Austria, and the UK,” said Ondřej Jakob, spokesman for the Ministry of Health.

“This is a recommendation. The proposals are set as minimum temperatures,” said Jakob when asked why, for example, the newly recommended temperature in gyms is 17 degrees instead of the original 15 degrees, and asked how the government will respond to associations’ comments that the temperature for retirement homes is too low.

The first comments have already appeared in the comment procedure, which runs until Aug. 19. For example, the employers’ organization states that social service facilities predominantly care for persons with an average age of 86 years with a high degree of dependence on the care of another person. It demands that the status quo be maintained.

“The social services facility heats the rooms in winter in such a way as to ensure the thermal comfort of the elderly. In any case, it exceeds 20°C in rooms and common areas and 24°C in bathrooms,” the comment states.

In connection with the regulation, the Civic Association of Homeowners in the Czech Republic stated that it is not clear how owners should verify the temperature. In addition, tenants have the right to undisturbed use of their apartments.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade stated that the regulation does not include new controls. According to the current law, the State Energy Inspectorate may carry out any inspections. Apartment owners can contact this institution with a complaint about a low or high temperature. In such a case, the institution will turn to the owner of the building, who is responsible for the correct setting, the ministry specified.

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