Because of EarthHour, the lighting of public buildings was turned off for an hour last spring. Photo: Mike Winning – Winning Photography
Buildings that are lit in the dark hours. People in Berlin are busy turning off these lights. Several political parties in the city also support this.
“I think it’s a good idea,” says Cecile Neuenhout, a GroenLinks councilman. “Turning off the building lighting in Groningen is not going to save a lot of energy, so it is basically a token idea. But at this time, I think the symbolic message is very important. So I would like to challenge the council member to see where the municipal building lighting can be turned off.”
Berlin City Council: “We must use energy in moderation”
In recent years, it has been popular in Berlin, as in many cities, to highlight famous buildings. But for several days darkness has enveloped the Gedächtniskirche, the concert hall of the Kulturforum and the town hall. The city council decided to do this in order to save energy. “In light of the war in Ukraine and the threat it poses to our energy supplies, it is important that we use our energy as sparingly as possible,” the city council said in a written statement. Other German cities are considering doing the same.
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In Berlin, among other things, the general lighting that illuminates the city hall has been turned off. Photo: Andreas Steinhof, attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?
Bart Hekima (Party of Animals): “A hiristrat is a big box of light during the hours of the night.”
Wesley Pichler is the head of the Animal Party: “At first glance, this is a very nice initiative. Not only because of the cost savings, but also because of the moderate use of available energy. In addition, it also combats light pollution, making our municipality immediately more suitable for nocturnal animals. “. And party councilman Bart Hekema adds: “It’s a nice symbolic gesture for times when the advice is to use less energy. And there’s quite a bit of unnecessary lighting burn-in. If you’re walking the Herestraat at night, it’s a big box with a light in it. It’s a waste of energy, It’s at the expense of the peace on the street and the starry sky invisible. I think it’s a good idea that the city’s Berlin plan is followed.”
Peter Rebergen (ChristenUnie): “We must take care of our land as good stewards.”
ChristenUnie’s party also likes less municipal lighting: “In our view, given all the action, it’s really worth reconsidering whether buildings should be lit at night,” says councilman Peter Rebergen of the party. “It is partly due to energy savings. On the other hand, the question is how much it actually contributes. But it is a visible sign that we all have to be careful about energy consumption. The Earth has become exhausted and we must take care of this Earth as good stewards.”
Ceciel Nieuwenhout (GroenLinks): ‘Turning off the lights as part of a bigger plan’
As far as the GroenLinks faction is concerned, turning off the lighting could be part of a broader plan in which the energy can be saved by the municipality. “For example, you can save energy by using insulation and lowering the thermostat in municipal buildings during the winter months. But there are also roles for businesses and organizations. I would challenge them to do the same. I still regularly see the lights in the evenings unnecessarily, or store doors open. While the air conditioning or heating is on. This waste of energy cannot be justified when there are a lot of people who cannot pay the energy bill. However, I would like to add that turning off the lights should not be at the expense of social safety.”
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During an earlier release of EartHour, the Martinitoren light was turned off. Photo: Patrick Wind – 112groningen.nl
Bart Hekima (Party for the Animals): “You don’t have to generate all the energy you don’t use.”
Bart Hekema of Party for the Animals agrees with Neuenhaut’s words: “In France it was recently decided that when the air conditioning or heating is turned on, the shop door is closed. There is more regulation. And this has to happen here too. After all, you don’t have to generate all the energy. Which you don’t use. As far as I’m concerned, this message goes hand in hand with a broader campaign aimed at saving as much energy as possible.”
“There is also a role for entrepreneurs.”
The animal party consultant continues: “Night night is a perfect example. This unnecessary lighting is turned off as much as possible. That’s very little, right? You may be able to turn off the lighting of public buildings entirely in the summer. In the winter months, you may be able to turn these lights off in 10 p.m. In addition to unnecessary public street lighting, there is also a role for businessmen. Small entrepreneurs are doing their best, but large companies can take real steps. For example with the use of patio heating. And should your car showroom be in the spotlight? All night? I imagine it’s for security reasons. But nowadays, there are great solutions that can turn on the lights by detection, so that your safety is also guaranteed.”
‘It shouldn’t be at the expense of safety’
When asked whether Groningen should take the initiative, Hekima firmly replied: “We need to up our energy-saving game. In addition, we must realize that artificial light is not necessary. This winter will be really exciting. We are dealing with A geopolitical situation where no one knows how it will turn out. Setting up a campaign to save as much energy as possible, but not at the expense of safety on the street, seems very beneficial to me.”