Belgium turning off public lights amid energy crisis
Wallonia region cuts night lights on motorway roads; Brussels stops illuminating historic center for the night
The Belgian region of Wallonia started turning off lights this week on motorway roads at night to save energy.
The region’s minister for energy, mobility and infrastructure, Philippe Henry, switched off the lights late Monday on the E40 motorway road near Waremme, in eastern Wallonia, according to Belgian broadcaster, RTL.
Lights will be also turned off Tuesday in central Wallonia and the program will continue Wednesday in the Western area of the region.
Highways will not be lit between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the next three months except for areas under construction or a high risk of accidents.
“We are living difficult times, the impact of the current crisis can be mitigated by reducing energy consumption,” Henry told reporters.
Wallonia’s government expects to save around €400,000 ($400,000) by not illuminating motorway roads at night.
The move is part of a Lumieres Plan 4.0 (Lights Plan 4.0), meant to renew public lighting in the region by switching to less expensive and more adaptive technical solutions.
The Flanders region has already implemented similar measures that save around €2 billion annually by turning off lights on most highways and switching to a sensor system that illuminates roads when needed.
The Brussels City Council also decided Monday to further reduce its energy spending and turn off the lights around the historic center Grand Place and downtown monuments for the night
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