Cold by decree

I bumped into an odd regulation the other day:


http://www.padovanet.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=12606

Basically, the meat of it is that between April 15th, and October 15th, you may not use your heater for more than 7 hours a day, unless by special permission from the town government.  And even those 7 hours a day are dependant on "climatic conditions".  During the dates the government has decreed to be cold, it is possible to operate one's heater for no more than 14 hours a day, between the hours of 5:00 and 23:00.  The temperature may not exceed 20C (68F).  Fines range from 500 Euro to 3000 Euro.


I wonder how they can possibly hope to enforce this.  Do they have the heater police going around with some kind of infrared telescope device aimed at people's houses?  I wonder if they have to obtain some kind of warrant in order to test your home for heating violations?


Theoretically, the law is to limit pollution, which heating contributes to because it uses a lot of energy.  However, it seems like a silly way of going about it.  Maybe someone lives in a tiny, well-insulated apartment, and likes to keep it at 25C.  They probably waste less energy than someone who lives in a huge, poorly insulated place.  More or less unenforceable laws like that also contribute to the widespread disdain for rules because flouting them is easy and is not really viewed as a bad thing.

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