The City of Light is about to get a little darker. In a bid to save energy, Paris officials will turn off the lights of the iconic Eiffel Tower more than an hour earlier than usual starting this week.
Lights usually illuminate the popular tourist attraction until 1am. However, from September 23, the tower will be off from 11:45 p.m., Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced on Twitter Last week. The new lights out plan aligns with the tower’s closing time: visitors can enter until 10:45 p.m. but must be out by 11:45 p.m.
“It’s a symbolic step, but an important one,” Hidalgo told reporters last week, according to Nicolas Garriga and Barbara Surk of The Associated Press (AP).
Hidalgo announced the new Eiffel Tower schedule as part of the French capital’s wider efforts to save energy. Elsewhere in the city, other monuments and municipal buildings will also be switching off earlier than usual to help reduce energy consumption by around 10%, a target set by French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this summer. .
The lights will now go out at the Saint-Jacques tower and at the town hall at 10 p.m. Hidalgo said she also plans to encourage the government to dim the lighting at national monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Pantheon.
Paris officials also plan to lower the temperature inside public buildings from 66 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (19 to 18 degrees Celsius) during normal office hours and to 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) at night and on Sunday. weekend. They will also turn on the heating in public buildings in mid-November, rather than mid-October.
Built starting in 1887 to be an attraction for the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition, the Eiffel Tower has welcomed travelers to France for more than 130 years. At 1,083 feet tall, the lattice iron structure can be seen from all over Paris. Visitors can explore the tower’s first and second floors, as well as the top, which includes enclosed and open-air spaces. On average, more than 6 million people visit the beloved landmark each year, according to the Eiffel Tower website.
Paris, like other parts of Europe, is feeling the pressure of a widespread energy crisis due in large part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia sends less natural gas to European countries supporting Ukraine, which has sent electricity and gas prices skyrocketing.
Energy demand is expected to increase this winter, and authorities are taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of blackouts and power shortages. This summer, for example, Spain required shops, restaurants, bars, offices and other public spaces to set air conditioning at or above 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius); the new rules will also apply this winter, during which buildings must keep the thermostat at or below 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 Celsius).
The energy crisis has also been difficult for European manufacturers, who have had to lay off workers and reduce production of items ranging from steel to fertilizers to toilet paper.
“This is the most dramatic situation we have ever encountered,” says Nicholas Hodler, who runs the Arc International glass factory in Arques, France, in New York Times” Liz Alderman. “For energy-intensive businesses like ours, it’s crippling.”