Paris Illumination Ban: 'City Of Light' Begins Turning Off Its Lights At Night To Save Energy

The Eiffel tower is seen before submerging into darkness at 8:30 pm (local time) as part of the Earth Hour switch-off on Marc
The Eiffel tower is seen before submerging into darkness at 8:30 pm (local time) as part of the Earth Hour switch-off on March 23, 2013 in Paris. Organisers expect hundreds of millions of people across more than 150 countries to turn off their lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night -- at 8:30 pm local time -- in a symbolic show of support for the planet. While more than 150 countries joined in last year's event, the movement has spread even further afield this year, with Palestine, Tunisia, Suriname and Rwanda among a host of newcomers pledging to take part. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND LANGLOIS (Photo credit should read BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

"The City Of Light" is losing some of its brightness.

Under Paris' illumination ban, merchants and non-residential building owners in the French city will be required to turn off their lights at night in order to save energy.

France's energy conservation decree, which was first passed in January, will take effect across the nation Monday night, and Paris is likely to feel the effects of the ban the most. The capital city is known for keeping its streets and monuments twinkling at night.

The illumination ban is expected to save 200 million euros (more than $260 million) and 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. Earlier this year, ministry head Delphine Batho also indicated that the nationwide lighting restriction would cut down negative effects of artificial lighting.

Store and non-residential building owners will be required to turn off all interior lights by 1 a.m. or an hour after the last worker has left the premises, French TV channel TF1 reports. Exterior signs and building facades must also be extinguished between the hours of 1 and 7 a.m.

However, there are a few exceptions to the decree. The Eiffel Tower will continue its nighttime light shows and security-related lighting fixtures will remain lit, as well. Certain areas will also be granted immunity from the ban on holidays and during cultural events.

Each town's mayor will be responsible for enforcing the illumination ban and handing out 750-euro fines (nearly $980) to businesses that fail to turn off lights. Repeat offenders may also face suspension of electricity.

As Bloomberg noted in December, the proposal to turn off all non-essential lights was met by much criticism from merchants in the tourism industry.

Paris owes its nickname, "La Ville Lumiere," or "The City of Light," to the city's recognition as a cultural center during the Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. However, as France Info notes, the moniker took on a more traditional meaning when the city installed gas street lights in the early 1800s.



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