Eiffel tower

Lights go down early for the Eiffel Tower as Paris saves energy

A nighttime view shows the Eiffel Tower, reflected in the roof of a car, in Paris, France, April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

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PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Paris will turn off the lights of the Eiffel Tower an hour earlier than normal, lower the water temperature of municipal swimming pools and delay the heating of public buildings to save energy this winter, the mayor of the city announced on Tuesday.

These measures aim to achieve President Emmanuel Macron’s goal that industry, households and municipal authorities reduce their energy consumption by 10% in response to Russia’s reduced gas supply and the soaring energy prices.

Across Europe, countries are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and fill their gas reserves in anticipation of a possible blackout.

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France is not as exposed to Russian gas as some neighbors, but a record number of nuclear reactor shutdowns has forced France to import electricity when it would typically be an exporter, heightening pressure on markets electricity.

“France will always be the City of Light,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said.

The Eiffel Tower is currently illuminated until 1 a.m. by a lighting system that gives it a golden glow. At the end of each hour on, it sparkles thanks to 20,000 flashing bulbs. Switching off the monument’s lights at 11:45 p.m. would mean a 4% reduction in its electricity consumption.

Hidalgo said that from September 23, the lighting in public buildings in Paris would be switched off at 10 p.m. while the water temperature in swimming pools would be reduced from 26 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. Heating in public buildings will be reduced to 18 degrees Celsius.

The capital’s energy bill is expected to reach 90 million euros this year, 35 million more than usual, even with long-term electricity and gas contracts protecting authorities from the worst cost increases.

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Reporting by Caroline Pailliez; written by Richard Lough, edited by Alexandra Hudson

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