France’s Eiffel Tower to go dark earlier to save energy

Amid soaring electricity prices, Paris is seeking to catch up with the goal of reducing energy consumption by 10% through an “energy sobriety” plan.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Tuesday announced that the French capital would start switching off the lights of its monuments hours earlier than usual.

The potential disappointment to millions of tourists comes as Paris seeks to cope with soaring energy costs.

Ornamental lights typically illuminate the Eiffel Tower until 1 a.m. (2300 UTC), with dazzling white lights every hour. It will now go dark after 11:45 p.m.

Lights will also go out as early as 10:00 p.m. for public buildings across Paris, Hidalgo said. Street lights, however, will not be restricted for public safety.

‘Energy sobriety’

The measures are part of a plan that the mayor called “energy sobriety,” which is set to go into effect starting September 23.

Hidalgo said the plan aims to reduce the city’s energy use by 10% in a bid to soften the blow of rising costs by an estimated €10 million ($10.2 million).

Scaling back the Eiffel Tower’s lights would mean a 4% reduction in its power consumption.

The plan also includes reducing the temperature in pools to 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), 1 degree down from the usual 26, and public buildings are set to lower their heating to 18 Celsius.

As European Union countries look for ways to end their reliance on Russian energy imports, French President Emmanuel Macron laid out the goal that industry, households, and municipal authorities reduce their consumption by 10%.

Unlike its neighbors, France is less affected by the reduction of Russian gas. However, the country that was typically an exporter of energy has been forced to import power due to a record number of nuclear reactor outages.

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