Berlin turning off city lights to save energy — Analysis

The authorities have announced that around 100 German-owned buildings are now going dark at night.

Berlin has stopped lighting up around 100 public buildings and historic landmarks since late July in order to save energy, the city’s environmental administration said on Monday.

After previous reports that lighting would be turned off for 200 buildings, the authorities have announced that 150 buildings will be no longer lit at night. Environmental administration stated that power usage reductions would take place by the end of August. 

The statement stated that the buildings aren’t connected to one system and engineers or maintenance personnel must handle each building individually to turn off the lights.

Authorities plan to illuminate some landmarks, including the Jewish Museum, New Synagogue and Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten. They said that the decision came after consulting with the Berlin Ministry of the Interior.

According to the city’s environmental administration, the 150 buildings, which include the Victory Column, the Berlin Cathedral, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Charlottenburg Palace, and the State Opera, consume around 150,000 to 200,000 kilowatt hours per year, which costs €40,000 ($40,850 per year).

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Franziska Giffey was Berlin’s mayor in July. She supported not lighting landmarks like Brandenburg Gate, to save energy. The authorities were also open to the possibility of turning down some street lights, but this would not pose a threat to public safety.

“In the situation we are in, we have to examine all the options for saving energy,”She said it at that time.

Germany is one of many EU members that has experienced an energy crisis due to global price rises. In order to ease the situation, the European Council adopted a plan in which EU members would reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor of Germany announced Friday that the temperature in Germany’s public buildings would not exceed 19C in fall or winter. Prior to this, Habeck urged people to use less heating, sauna trips, and showers.

Uncertainty in Russian gas supplies has played a major role in the crisis. Russian Energy giant Gazprom has denied that Moscow might cut gas supply to the EU. However, Vladimir Putin refuted accusations. “ready to pump as much as necessary”But that’s what the bloc has “closed everything themselves.”

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