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Lighting, water, heating and air conditioning: How Bonn plans to save energy starting now

Lighting, water, heating and air conditioning : How Bonn plans to save energy starting now

It will be getting dark in Bonn: The city administration has announced a comprehensive package of measures to save energy. In addition to reduced lighting, numerous other steps are planned. Large companies are also joining in.

The Stadthaus is dark, as are the town hall in Beuel and the Arndt Museum: a walk through Bonn on Thursday evening already gave an impression of what citizens will be facing in the coming weeks. This is because the exterior lighting of official buildings will be completely discontinued with immediate effect.

This is just one of numerous measures intended to save energy starting immediately in light of the current crisis. The announcement was made by the city of Bonn on Friday. In this way, Bonn wants to prepare for a possible gas shortage in the fall and winter. "Every kilowatt hour of electricity and gas that is saved helps to overcome the difficult times we are facing," explains Mayor Katja Dörner.

The city of Bonn has decided to take these energy-saving measures

Not only the exterior lighting of official buildings will be switched off with immediate effect: In the future, interior lighting is to be switched on only during operating hours, and traffic routes are to be illuminated only when necessary. Throughout the city, fluorescent tubes are to be replaced by LED tubes.

In addition to lighting, air conditioning in city buildings is to be throttled back to 26 degrees Celsius. The heating period will be set from October 17 (the end of the autumn vacations) to March 31; only during this period will heating be provided in municipal buildings. The room temperature it to be kept at 19 degrees Celsius. Exceptions apply to daycare centers and elementary schools.

According to the city, only cold water will be available at the hand-washing sinks in the administration buildings, and the operation of the elevator systems in the municipal building will be reduced. Lighting as well as heating, cooling and ventilation systems are to be checked in all buildings of the city administration and optimized where possible. As part of the measures now adopted, the city administration is expanding the possibility of employees working from home.

Citizens will also feel the effects of the energy-saving measures in municipal swimming pools: According to the administration, the outdoor swimming pool season in Bonn will end on Sunday, September 4, 2022, regardless of the weather. The water temperature will be reduced by one to two degrees in the indoor swimming pools, which will open the following day. Due to their cooling effect on the city climate, fountains and water features will only be turned off after the summer heat has ended.

A task force of the city administration has come up with these measures, and more measures will be introduced if necessary. But it is not only the city of Bonn that is preparing for a possible gas shortage. A popular event will probably not take place this year in view of the current crisis: “Bonn leuchtet” (“Bonn lights up”). "What is certain is that we will definitely save electricity compared to last year and will not illuminate any building facades," explains Maike Reinhardt from Bonn City Marketing. Whether “Bonn leuchtet” will take place in a different form or not at all will be decided in September.

Telekom plans to significantly reduce office space

The major companies in Bonn and the region are also following suit, including Deutsche Post. "It's not just because of the current situation that we have energy-saving concepts at all our locations, it’s not just in Bonn and the surrounding area," explains spokesperson Dirk Klasen. "Our local branches also decide which additional measures are possible." In Bonn itself, for example, the nighttime lighting art at the Post Tower was switched off some time ago, he said.

Telekom has also announced that it will implement further energy-saving measures. Already in the second quarter, the company's electricity consumption was reduced by 14 percent compared to the same period last year. CEO Timotheus Höttges said on Thursday, "With a view to the coming winter, we are constantly checking what is feasible in the short term." Among other things, it should help to reduce office space that is regularly vacant due to hybrid work options. In the coming years, Telekom plans to get rid of up to 50 percent of its office space, including in Bonn.

(Orig. text: Sandra Liermann; Translation: ck)