France warns shop owners: Fine if you leave the doors open and the air conditioner on
The French government will force all air-conditioned shops to close their doors if they leave the air conditioner on during the day. According to the new rule, illuminated advertisements must also be turned off at night. This is an effort to reduce energy use.
Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher says it is absurd to leave the doors open while the air conditioner is running. Leaving the doors open while the air conditioning is running can lead to 20% more energy consumption.
Businesses that do not comply with the new rules, which will come into force in the coming days, will face a fine of 750 euros.
Some cities such as Bourg-en-Bresse, Lyon, Besançon and Paris already have municipal rules in place since mid-July, but now the government wants to expand the initiative across the country.
While a ban on illuminated advertising between 1 and 6 a.m. currently applies to cities with fewer than 800,000 residents, the new regulations will make it applicable everywhere, regardless of population size.
ANPCEN, a French association which campaigns against light pollution, said the challenge comes in enforcing regulations - which does not always happen.