Paris is known as the City Of Light principally because of the gas lights of the 1800’s, but it may be time to turn the lights off, at least late at night.
Andrew Price, Will The City Of Light Go Dark To Save Energy?
A proposal from Delphine Batho, head of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, and Energy, would require stores, offices, and public buildings across the country to turn off the lights between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. The point of the policy, according to Batho, is not only to save energy and money but also “to change the culture” in a time of economic crisis, making people aware of the importance of using energy resources efficiently.
If the new policy is approved by Parliament, it will take effect in June, with certain exceptions for hospitals, police stations, and other critical operations. Indeed, the target of the policy seems to be shops that keep their lights on all night long. Or at least that’s what some proprietors seem to think. France’s Commerce Council has made statements opposing the idea, claiming that it will turn off tourists and hurt business. Predictably, the light bulb and lighting systems industries have also objected.
The savings could be considerable – $261 million per year – but the biggest impact could be the cascade out to other cities and towns that might follow Paris’ lead.