Christmas lights to go off earlier to save energyTurning off the Christmas lights an hour earlier represents a saving of 42 hours, cutting the overall number of hours from 259 in previous years to 217 this time around. The energy saving measure has been agreed on with business associations in the sectors of commerce and hospitality.
The Christmas lights will operate from 24 November to 6 January, inclusive. The on and off times for the lights have been brought forward by an hour compared to last year, except on certain days:
- Sunday to Thursday: from 5.30 pm to 10 pm
- Friday and Saturday: from 5.30 pm to 11 pm
- 31 December and 5 January (special days): from 5.30 pm to 1 am
- 24 November: from 6.30 pm to midnight
The decree which includes the reduction in hours has to be approved by the Government Commission on Thursday and is also conditioned by the energy saving limits which may be agreed on by other public administrations.
In this respect, as with previous years the lighting designs take into account efficiency criteria: 100% of bulbs which are the responsibility of the City Council are LEDs, using less energy than usual, as are practically all of the bulbs in lighting promoted by commerce associations.
Subsidies for Christmas lights
Besides wholly municipally funded lighting in streets and squares, collaboration between the City Council and commerce associations in the city make it possible for hundreds of other spaces to be decorated over the festive season in all Barcelona neighbourhoods, through the following initiatives:
- Subsidy call for Christmas lights, aimed at local retailers’ associations. Subsidies can cover up to 75% of the cost, with associations covering the rest.
- Commerce associations in shopping hubs may form part of a model where the City Council procures the Christmas lights. Organisations do not need to pay in advance but pay their part once the installation is completed.
An investment of nearly 2.3 million euros is planned for Christmas lights in the city over the festive period.