Flouters of French lighting ban could have electricity cut off

The French government has released details of the penalties faced by businesses that fail to comply with the night-time lighting ban brought into force on 1 July.

Commercial buildings such as shops and offices will face fines of up to €750 and have their energy supply cut off if they do not adhere to the new regulations.

The rules force commercial property owners to switch off lighting at 1am in a bid to cut light pollution and save energy, with exemptions for some landmark buildings and tourist attractions.

The measures apply to exterior lighting and interior lighting that can be seen from the street. Offices will have to switch off their lights one hour after staff leave, shops will have to switch off window lights between 1am and 7am, and all lighting on the façades of buildings will have to be switched off after 1am.

Sebastien Flet Reitz, technical manager at the French lighting industry association, said the ban was a 'good start', but that much bigger energy savings could be achieved by encouraging building owners to install energy-efficient technology when renovating, and by better use of controls.