France turns lights off to save £1.192bn each year

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France turns lights off to save £1.192bn each year


The French have just passed a law on the lighting of non-residential buildings.


The French minister for energy and environment unveiled last week a proposal for lights in and outside shops, offices, and public buildings — including the flagship Louis Vuitton store and the Lido cabaret house on Paris’s Avenue des Champs Elysees — to be turned off between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. starting in July. The plan, to be applied across French cities, towns and villages, is aimed at saving energy and money and showing “sobriety,” Minister Delphine Batho said…..


Beginning on July 1, it requires shops and offices in France to turn off their lights one hour after the last worker leaves a building. All shop window displays will be turned off at 1 a.m. Shop windows may only be lit from 7 a.m. or an hour before opening time.


Necessary public lighting will not be lit before sunset. Exceptions will be made during Christmas and other significant events, as well as in some tourist and cultural areas.


This is expected to save about two terawatt-hours of electricity every year, about the same as the annual consumption of 750,000 households. Based on the average UK electricity bill that would equal £842.25m. (And France has a population of only three million larger than the UK).


While there has been an outcry from business owners who are worried the new laws will harm Paris’s reputation as the place to go for tourists, the rest of the city has been turning out lights at night for many years:


The Energy Ministry says the rule won’t mark a big change from the current situation, pointing out that lights at Paris’s 304 monuments, churches, statues, fountains and bridges, are already being turned off at night.


The Eiffel Tower’s lights are turned off at 1 a.m. after a last glittery splash. Over the last decade, the illumination of the Notre Dame cathedral has been brought down to 9,000 watts from 54,000 watts.


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