City of Berlin to stop illuminating landmarks to save energy
Berlin’s parliamentarians and tourists alike will soon feel the impact of Germany’s drive to save energy, in response to looming gas shortages. The Reichstag parliament building is in the process of implementing new restrictions, including limiting cooling in the summer to 26-28 degrees Celsius instead of the usual 22 degrees, reports newswire dpa. Heating will also be limited to 20 degrees in winter, as opposed to the previous 22-degree setting, applying to the plenary hall, meeting rooms, and other offices. The Reichstag’s exterior lighting will gradually be reduced too, with the iconic dome not being lit at all outside visiting times. Other Berlin landmarks will also cease being illuminated gradually over the next weeks, including the Victory Column, Berlin Cathedral, the Memorial Church, and the Red City Hall.
The country’s savings push is not limited to the capital: Munich mayor Dieter Reiter ordered hot water to be turned off in the Bavarian city’s administration buildings. “We are all called upon to do our part”, Reiter said. Heating and cooling will also be restricted in Munich, and the outside lighting of historic monuments switched off. Other cities like Bavarian Augsburg have already taken similar measures.
In an effort to become independent of Russian gas imports, the German government is launching a variety of energy-saving initiatives. Through an advertising campaign, it is calling on citizens to reduce energy consumption. Fear of a gas shortages in the winter have further increased in recent days, as Russian gas company Gazprom has repeatedly cut supplies through the key Nord Stream pipeline.