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From the Eiffel Tower not lit up to five-minute showers: Europeans tighten energy belts

On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed to reduce the total electricity consumption in the EU by 10% at once until March 31, 2023

MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. European countries are working hard on plans for energy saving ahead of the heating season.

For example, Hotel de Ville (Paris City Hall) decided to switch off the decorative lights on the Eiffel Tower at 11:45 p.m. instead of 01:00 a.m. The Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Group of companies will start to turn off lights in its boutiques from October, first in France and then in the rest of the world.

Other European cities are also eyeing options like turning off the illumination of buildings, monuments and street lighting. However, this is not the only measure that the Europeans are preparing to resort to amid a possible energy shortage. In many countries, the authorities have decided to limit indoor temperatures to 19 degrees Celsius and below. In Germany, they began to turn off the escalators in shopping centers, in Finland, residents are asked to take a shower faster, in Spain - to give up wearing ties. Austria, the UK and the Czech Republic will limit electricity prices.

On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed to reduce the total electricity consumption in the EU by 10% at once until March 31, 2023.

Indoor temperature limit

Spain has set a temperature ceiling for heating at 19 degrees in public institutions, shopping and cultural centers, transportation infrastructure and hotels. This rule does not apply to social facilities, hairdressers, laundries, gyms and vehicles.

From autumn, indoor temperatures will also be limited in public buildings in Germany. A similar decision was made by Greece and Denmark. In Hungary, government agencies will have to reduce the air temperature to 18 degrees Celsius.

In Lithuania and France, the authorities there so far only recommend that the population limit the temperature on their premises. However, Paris City Hall has already decided to reduce the air temperature in urban institutions to 18 degrees, and in the evening and on weekends to 12 degrees. Kindergartens will be the only exception.

Italy has three scenarios depending on the volume of gas supplies from Russia. The authorities want to postpone the start of the heating season by a week and finish it one week earlier, as well as reduce the heating temperature of residential and public buildings by one degree (to 19 degrees). The heating period per day will also be reduced by an hour. Heating restrictions do not apply to hospitals and nursing homes.

Turning off night lights

Germany has decided not to illuminate buildings, monuments and advertising objects from 22:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. during the winter period. In Dresden and Berlin, popular tourist spots will not be decorated with garlands at Christmas.

At night, the backlighting of shop windows and the illumination of public buildings that are not used after 10:00 p.m. in Spain should be turned off.

French authorities intend to oblige shop owners to turn off the lighting of advertising banners at night. In Paris in winter, tourists can admire the lights of the Eiffel Tower until 11:45 p.m. (now until 01:00 a.m.). The flickering time of the bulbs, which occurs every hour, has already been reduced from 10 to 5 minutes. In addition, from September 23, the illumination of museum buildings and town halls in Paris will be turned off an hour earlier. In Lille (the north of the country), they decided to roll back the period of Christmas illumination.

Italian cities will limit nighttime lighting of roads and public buildings, as well as monuments, and the Serie A Football League has decided not to use stadium lighting at full capacity for more than four hours (now six hours).

In Poland, some regions have already begun turning off street lights at night. Greece and Denmark also intend to limit street and decorative lighting.

Unusual measures

Spanish officials have urged citizens to stop wearing ties whenever possible, without specifying how this measure will help save energy. In Finland, residents are asked to reduce the time of showering to five minutes. In Italy, the authorities also have asked their citizens to wash faster.

In Germany, the first shopping malls have started turning off some escalators. Saunas were closed in Munich's municipal swimming pools, while in Hannover the authorities announced plans to turn off hot water in the showers of gyms and city pools. The Prime Minister of the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Green Party), advised citizens to reduce the time spent in the shower and said that they could switch to wiping with a damp cloth.

In the UK, a number of school principals are considering lowering the temperature in the classrooms and buying sweaters for the students from low-income families so that they can weather classes in the winter normally.

The French government has urged citizens to turn off electrical appliances, including Wi-Fi routers in the event of a long absence from home and turn off the lights after leaving a room.

Electricity price cap

Austria will limit electricity prices from December 1, 2022, until June 30, 2024. When using more than 2,900 kilowatt-hours, consumers will have to pay the market price.

The Czech Republic will be capping electricity and gas prices for households, craftsmen, small and mid-sized businesses, and public institutions from November 1.

The UK also wants to freeze electricity prices from October 1 for two years. Ordinary households will pay no more than 2,500 pounds ($2,900 - TASS) per year. The current level suggests an average electric bill of 1,971 pounds per year ($2,300). Lithuania and Poland are also considering freezing electricity prices.

Hungary will limit the price of firewood: rural residents will be able to buy it directly from logging companies at the official price.