Energy. Energy sobriety imposed on Strasbourg.
Decline in outdoor lighting, reduction in the opening of public buildings, hunting for wasted heating: faced with an energy bill about to quintuple, the city and the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg announced a sobriety plan on Wednesday.
“We will have to make choices which are sometimes difficult, but which are essential”, warned during a press conference Jeanne Barseghian, the EELV mayor of the Alsatian capital. This wishes to “maintain the continuity of public service, in particular for the most vulnerable”.
Pia Imbs, the president of the Eurometropolis, in charge of the gas order for Strasbourg and 32 surrounding municipalities, had announced in the preamble that the last call for tenders awarded in August had seen a 500% increase in the price of this energy , “never seen”. The community was counting on a 200% increase in early July.
For Strasbourg, the bill would thus increase from 12 to 60 million euros per year. “It’s 50 million euros that we have to find,” said Ms. Barseghian, who wants to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 10% and encourage local renewable production.
More sober Christmas market
The community is also considering adapting the opening hours of the swimming pools, the ice rink or the media libraries. Another line of thought: a postponement of the heating season for public buildings, or even an absence of heating in certain little-used facilities, like the old town hall, with the exception of the wedding hall.
“We are going to stay on course with the project set, with the climate emergency as a priority by continuing to invest massively in the ecological transition, whether in revegetation, transport or thermal renovation”, however affirmed Jeanne Barseghian, elected in 2020, according to which an increase in taxation is excluded at this stage.
If there “is no question of canceling or eliminating the Christmas market”, one of the oldest and busiest in Europe, the town hall wishes it “more sober and more responsible from this year”, in working in particular on the articulation between illuminations and lighting.
At the national level, “we no longer speak of the Amish or the oil lamp, the findings are finally shared”, also pointed out the ecologist, while the Prime Minister urged companies to energy moderation on Monday.
“Slowing down the pace of spending is essential,” said Syamak Agha Babaei, first deputy in charge of finance, according to whom, without state aid, “a shock to local public finances is looming.”
“The measures announced give the impression of a fatality by the refusal of growth, economic attractiveness, innovation to compensate and counter these difficulties”, for his part castigated in a press release the municipal councilor of opposition Pierre Jakubowicz (Horizons), according to whom “the far-left municipality burned the cash without counting”.
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