The Confederation of Commerce and Services of Portugal (CCP) has agreed to discuss with the Government the reduction of night hours in stores on at least two days a week, within the scope of the Energy Savings Plan that the government is expected to present at the end of August, reports Jornal de Negócios.

On Thursday and Sunday nights, periods when sales tend to be lower, shopping centre stores could potentially close earlier.

For the president of the CCP, “there should be no taboos” on the topic of energy goals. However, the flexible position defended by João Vieira Lopes contradicts the main associations on the side of shopping centre owners and the large retail chains in Portugal, who fear that early closures of establishments will translate into losses of millions, while ensuring that there are more effective measures.

“The CCP is available to discuss more structural measures, such as the reduction of extensive opening hours in commerce and services”, said the confederation, in a statement quoted by the Lusa, noting that “Portugal has a weekly average of operation much higher than European average”.

This position follows a request from the Energy Agency (Adene) for contributions to the preparation of the Energy Savings Plan, which should be known by the end of the month. “If the measures to be implemented in the near future are not sufficient to fulfil the commitment made by Portugal, this confederation is available to discuss other measures, such as the reduction of opening hours (as has already been decided in other countries)”, he stressed.

As measures to be adopted in the short term, the CCP admitted controlling temperatures in commercial establishments or service buildings and reducing night lighting (shop windows and public lighting), as is being adopted in other European countries, but warned of the “need to ensure enhanced security and policing”.