The French government has confirmed that it will force shops and commercial properties to switch off their lights at night in a bid to save energy and cut light pollution.
The new measures, which were introduced by France’s minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy Delphine Batho, will come into force on July 1st this year.
The ban applies to both interior lighting that spills to the outside of the building, such as store fronts, and the external lighting of building facades. It excludes lighting installed to protect the property - provided they are controlled by motion or intrusion detection sensors.
Organizations must: turn off interior lighting in offices one hour after staff leave the premises; switch lighting in shop windows and commercial premises off between 1 am and 7 am; and turn façade lighting off no later than 1 am.
It is expected this move will save around 2 TWh per year of energy – equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 750,000 households – and save 250,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
There are exceptions to the new law including holidays and Christmas illuminations and certain tourist attractions.