According to the city council, the Eiffel Tower, whose twinkling lights define the skyline of Paris at night, should darken early. That saving now comes with energy prices swinging through the roof. Through this initiative, Paris hopes to set a good example for other cities.
This week, the Paris city council will propose extinguishing the monument more than an hour earlier than usual as Europe faces rising energy costs. The Eiffel Tower is currently lit until 1 am after sunset by an advanced lighting system that gives it a golden glow. In addition, at sunset, the monument shines for 5 minutes thanks to 20,000 flashing lights.
The city council will suggest that the tower darken at 11:45 p.m. when the last visitors leave, meaning it won’t shine after midnight. The lighting reduction procedure is seen as a way to provide an example of reducing urban lighting in general. “It is a very symbolic gesture, and part of the growing awareness of energy efficiency,” said Jean-Francois Martins, head of management for the tower.
The memorial’s nighttime lighting accounts for 4 percent of its annual energy consumption. Other city authorities are also working to reduce nighttime lighting at key sites. Monuments in Marseille, including the Pharaoh’s Palace, will turn off the lights earlier at the end of September to save energy.
In Berlin, the nightly illumination of many monuments, including the Victory Column, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Jewish Museum, have been reduced this summer.
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