Prague City Hall to dim streetlights in some areas within cost-cutting measures

With inflation at over 14 percent and cost-cutting the order of the day, Prague City Hall has announced plans to reduce electricity costs by dimming streetlights in some parts of the capital and switching off the special lighting of monuments several hours earlier. The measure should affect 140 significant sites and buildings including the Rudolfinum concert hall and Petřín Hill.

Prague’s Astronomical Clock, the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas, the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul or the TV tower in Prague’s Žižkov district, those are just some of the many monuments that stand out in the city after dark.

However, mounting electricity bills and the need to address light pollution have led Prague City Hall to reconsider the city’s lighting policy in the months to come.

According to City Hall’s plans, streetlights in some less frequented areas will be dimmed and the special lights spotlighting 140 of the city’s historic monuments will be switched off before midnight rather than after. Councilor Jan Chabr explains:

Photo: Kristýna Maková,  Radio Prague International

“The special lighting of monuments will be switched of at 11pm summertime, rather than at 1am as it is now, and at 10pm in wintertime. In the winter months we may even consider lights out at 9pm.”

The new lighting policy will not affect the Prague Castle Compound, which takes care of its own lighting.

Prague City Hall says it expects to pay twice as much in electricity bills next year – close to 200 million crowns. The amount saved on lighting up monuments in the late night hours will only save a fraction of the cost - around 2 million crowns a year.

So further measures are on the table – such as dimming streetlights in less frequented parts of the city. This will be done by combining LED light sources and intelligent lighting control systems in some areas. Tomáš Jílek, head of Technologie, the company in charge of Prague’s lighting, explains:

“This new lighting system will soon appear on some Prague roads such as the streets V Holešovičkách, 5 května and Liberecká. We are aiming to save costs in the area of hundreds of thousands of crowns in each location.”

This so-called biodynamic lighting is already used in Ladronka and five other parks in Prague where it has cut costs by a third. Led lights and solar panels on rooftops are expected to cut lighting costs even further in the months and years to come.

Authors: Daniela Lazarová , Adam Bejšovec
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