President’s electricity bill was 157,000 euros

THE PORTUGUESE President’s electricity bill last year totalled a whopping 157,000 euros.

The information was made public after Cavaco Silva called on the Portuguese to become more energy-saving in their habits to protect the environment.

But the President’s office says that he has already pushed ahead with new measures aimed at cutting down energy and water consumption including gas and electricity.

Cavaco Silva has decided to set an example to the rest of the country in making his official residence, where he doesn’t actually live, more energy efficient.

He hopes, through various measures such as automatic timer switches and energy saving light bulbs, to shave 62,000 euros off the annual bill footed by the taxpayer.

“The state should set an example to its citizens by adopting measures that are more environmentally friendly,” he said after presenting the Palace’s Energy Audit Report compiled by Galp, EDP, EPAL and INETI.

Insulation, double-glazing, a solar heating system, and an electricity-saving generator are just some of the measures proposed to keep the Presidential bills down in 2008. But other measures have already been put into place including replacing 100 old light bulbs for new, energy saving ones.

However, the total layout for making the official presidential residence more eco-friendly will cost a pretty penny, 176,000 euros.

It is hoped that the hefty upfront investment will be clawed back within three years bringing bills down by around 40 per cent.

Cavaco Silva said that the new measures would allow a reduction in greenhouse gases like CO2 emissions, to the tune of 228 tonnes, 30 per cent down on 2007.

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