A while back I wrote a post on how we could potentially save a lot of energy by ensuring that shops and offices switch of their lights at night (see here). France passed a legislation last week requiring all non-residential buildings to switch off their lights, including window displays at night.
To give you a rough idea of how much energy this can save, the French environment ministry predicts that two Terawatt hours of electricity will be saved – the equivalent of the annual consumption of 750000 French homes, preventing the release of 250000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The move might not go down well with shop owners in France’s shopping avenues such as the Champs-Élysée as well as the elite for whom is it is the mecca, but we need to get it into our heads that for us to really get our energy balance into order, we need to not only work on getting alternative means of energy on-board, but also simultaneously start reducing our energy needs. As the saying goes ” A penny saved is a penny earned”.