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A new and innovative French regulation limits night lighting of non residential buildings

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A new ordinance from the French Government requires that, from the 1st of July 2013, lighting of non residential buildings (lighting of indoor spaces and illumination of facades) is turned off at fixed times. The objectives are to limit energy consumption and to reduce light pollution. From mid 2013, indoor lighting of commercial buildings shall have to be turned off one hour after the end of the occupation period and facade illumination before 1 am. Facade illumination shall be forbidden before sunset. Lighting of shop windows shall have to be off between 1 am and 7 am except if the shop is opened during that period of time; in that case, lighting will be authorised 1 hour before opening and 1 hour after closure. It will be possible to derogate at special periods (e.g. Christmas) or for special events, according to a prefect decision. These requirements will not apply to lighting used to ensure the protection of property when it is controlled by motion or intrusion detection. ADEME estimates that this new regulation will save 2 TWh/year (corresponding to the annual electricity consumption of about 750 000 families) and avoid 250 kt of CO2 emissions. The government claims that this regulation makes France one of the pioneers in this field in Europe.