German cities turn off monument spotlights and fountains to save energy
Some of the most famous monuments in Germany are set to fall dark in the coming months as city authorities implement measures to save energy in the face of a looming gas crisis. Fountains, hot water and central heating are also being switched off.
Hannover to turn down the heating and hot water in public buildings
Several German cities have this week announced that they are implementing unprecedented measures to save energy. On Wednesday, the city of Hannover in Lower Saxony became the first to announce energy-saving strategies to help it fall in line with the EU’s target of cutting consumption by 15 percent.
In city-run buildings and leisure facilities, hot water and showers will be turned off, while the heating will only be switched on between October 1 and March 31, and set to a maximum of 20 degrees Celsius. Mobile air conditioning units will be banned. The measures do not apply to daycare centres, schools, nursing homes or hospitals.
Berlin monuments to no longer be lit up at night
In Berlin, city officials decreed that around 200 monuments and historic buildings should no longer be illuminated at night, to save energy. “In view of the war against Ukraine and the energy policy threats from Russia, it is important that we use our energy as carefully as possible,” Senator for the Environment Bettina Jarasch said in a statement. “This also and especially applies to the public sector.”
Among the monuments being left in the dark are the Victory Column, the Berlin Cathedral, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Rotes Rathaus and Charlottenburg Palace. The first six monuments fell dark on Wednesday night, while more will be included in the coming four weeks, as city officials temporarily switch off the 1.400 spotlights dotted across the German capital. The measure is expected to save around 40.000 euros per year.
People in Germany urged to save energy where possible
Other cities have also announced their own measures, with Munich this week saying it would at night switch off city fountains and the spotlights on its town hall in the Marienplatz. City buildings will in future only have cold water. Also in southern Germany, Nuremberg is closing three of the four indoor swimming pools run by the city.
The German government is currently calling on public institutions to lead by example in the country’s drive to save energy, with fears running high that the Russian government could cut off gas supplies this coming winter. People are being urged to reduce the use of air conditioning, use public transport where possible, and make energy-saving adaptations to their homes.