The lights on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France could be switched off earlier than usual if plans are given the green light, as part of “energy sobriety” measures in light of the energy crisis.
The Journal du Dimanche reported on Saturday that Paris city hall is set to propose the Eiffel Tower’s lights be turned off before midnight, a measure other French cities have already imposed. The Pharo Palace in Marseille will go dark earlier from late September to save energy.
The Eiffel Tower’s 20,000 lightbulbs currently twinkle for five minutes on the hour every night, before turning off at 1 a.m.
The new proposal, outlined by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, will see lights out by 11:45 p.m.
Jean-François Martins, the head of the Eiffel Tower management, said: “It’s a highly symbolic gesture – part of the growing awareness around energy sobriety.”
The gesture is not just symbolic however. The night-time illumination of the tower accounts for 4% of the city’s annual energy consumption.
The move mimics similar moves across Europe as the tightening grip of the energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine continues to choke the continent’s gas and oil flows.
In Berlin, Germany, several tourist attractions including the Victory Column, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Jewish Museum, reduced their night time illuminations.
The news marks how serious Europeans are taking the energy crisis.
This chart from Deutsche Bank’s September investor survey found 84% of U.K. respondents said they would make changes in the next few years to at least some energy consumption, while 81% said they had the same intentions in the EU. That’s versus 41% in the U.S., while 52% plan to do nothing.