In the name of energy efficiency and emissions reductions, the French environment ministry has said that French shops and office buildings will have to switch off their lights at night.
Starting July 1, all non-residential buildings will be required to switch off all interior lights one hour after the last worker leaves. Non-essential exterior lights will have to be turned off by no later than 1:00 a.m. Local events and Christmas lights will be an exception to these regulations, along with businesses in heavy tourism areas.
It is expected that this new law will save about two terawatt hours of electricity every year, which is equivalent to the power consumption of about 750,000 homes. French ecology minister Delphine Batho has also said that she hopes this encourages others across the country to do the same, making France a pioneer in energy efficiency.
Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: City Lights at Night along the France-Italy Border