In the face of high prices and low supply, European businesses and homeowners are cutting their use of electricity. Some businesses are opting to close early in order to save power. Richa Naidu reports in Reuters:
As energy bills mount and the threat of rationing increases, some European retailers are turning off lights and considering shorter opening hours this winter.
Energy bosses and government officials have urged people and businesses to reduce power use and put in place contingency plans so they are less reliant on gas imports if there are shortages linked to the war in Ukraine.
SPAR Austria is reducing the hours of lighting for storefront advertising and outside its more than 1,500 stores across the country, a spokesperson said in an email. The business, which operates over 1.2 million square metres (12.92 million square feet) of store floor space, posted retail sales of 8.56 billion euros ($8.86 billion) last year.
The move will reduce the retailer’s energy consumption by 1 million kilowatt hours annually, the spokesperson said, without saying how much money would be saved.
Last month, the head of Leclerc warned that France’s largest food retailer could reduce opening hours at its stores to deal with power shortages.
That came days after rival French supermarket operator Carrefour signed an “EcoWatt Charter” with national energy grid operator RTE, reducing electricity consumption in its stores during periods of high demand.
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