The Christmas lighting in Paris this year will be a little less vibrant this year as the local government is reducing decorations to save energy and reduce electricity costs.
On the most famous avenue in Paris, the Champs-Élysées, Christmas The lights have undergone a subtle change this festive season. “I actually like them better this year,” said one passerby, who wished to remain anonymous. Behind him, nearly half a kilometer of fairy lights alternated between steady yellow light and blue sparkles, intended to reproduce the light above. Eiffel tower.
In previous years, the Paris Residents remember a more modern lighting design with luminous rings surrounding 400 trees on both sides of the road. The 2022 version, he said, is “more traditional and more welcoming”.
It is also more energy efficient. The Champs-Elysées Commission, the governing body of the famous boulevard, has announced that lighting will be “severely restricted” this year as rising energy prices drag on electricity costs. more than double in France (although regulatory tax increases for consumers are currently capped at 4%) and worldwide.
In an effort to maintain one of the most popular carnival attractions in the French capital – and avoid exorbitant costs – the 2022 illuminations have millions Energy-saving LED lights will be on display for six, instead of seven, weeks. Except for December 24 and 31, the lights will also be turned off two hours and fifteen minutes earlier than usual each night at 11:45 p.m.
These small adjustments are expected to have a dramatic impact, with total electricity usage forecast at 11,500 KWH – less than 44% compared to 2021. “Total consumption on the Champs-Élysées will be equal to two people Marc-Antoine Jamet, chair of the Champs-Élysées committee said.
‘Still a lot of fun’
Many cities across France have made similar decisions to save energy this Christmas. Toulouse’s light show will be shortened by two weeks. Lyon will turn off the lights earlier than usual every night. In Bordeaux, the mayor’s office said measures to reduce Christmas lights would cut their total energy bill to only €1,600 compared to €2,000 in 2021. And in Strasbourg, the famous Christmas market will have 20% off lights and reduce total electricity consumption by 10%, the mayor’s office said.
In many cases, it’s not just the decorations that are scaled down. Paris has reduced the number and size of its outdoor skating rinks and even introduced an eco-friendly version in the central shopping district of Les Halles. Instead of an iceberg that requires a large amount of energy to stay cold, skaters can skim 200 meters of ice reuse, pivot table without using water or electricity.
At Christmas markets in the capital, opening hours are also shortened to reduce electricity use. Even so, “there are a lot of people here. More than last year when American tourists could not travel [due to Covid-19 restrictions],” said Simoes, who runs a stall selling cork products in the Tuileries Gardens Christmas market, in its second year of operation.
Despite the sub-zero evening temperatures, the market is lively with people browsing the stalls to buy souvenirs, warm up with hot food and drinks, and soak up the festive atmosphere.
This year, stall owners are working in bungalows with fewer decorative lights and no heating to save energy. Gaëlle, who is selling decorations she made, said: “You have to adapt to it, but my stall has walls so it’s not too cold. This is her fourth year at the market and she does not feel the energy-saving measures negatively affect the atmosphere, especially compared to the previous two seasons affected by Covid-19.
“Last year I was wearing a medical mask, but this year it is much more natural and comfortable. Having fewer lights doesn’t detract from the focus of the event at all. Still a lot of fun.”
Indeed, the festive lights around the capital may be muted this year but they still stand out against a darker background than usual. Since September, the streets and skies of the City of Light have become unusually dark at night as monuments, shops and offices all turn off their lights.
Like many other shops in Paris, the shops on the Champs-Élysées have been told to turn off their illuminated signs, screens and windows at 10pm – almost two hours before the Christmas lights go out. .
Most of the monuments in the capital are now also in darkness at 10pm, with the exception of the Eiffel Tower, which remains lit until the last visitors leave at 11:45pm.
Besides steps such as lowering the temperature in swimming pools and public buildings, members of the public have largely been donate of energy-saving, environmentally friendly as well as cost-effective measures.
With street lights (turned on for safety) as their main competitor, even reducing the number of Christmas lights in Paris could be effective. In the Tuileries Gardens, Alessia and Eleni are spending the first evening of their holiday in Paris enjoying the “cozy” atmosphere of the Christmas market.
They didn’t notice the lack of festive lighting. Eleni, from Belgium, said: “There are also less decorations in other countries, which is something we have to accept at this stage. “I like to see things in a positive light – in Paris they still have a lot of work to do. I feel like it’s carnival.