A Christmas with fewer lights due to the high price of energy
The start of the Christmas campaign is approaching and the municipal brigades of the towns and cities of the province are already hanging the Christmas lights these days. However, this will be an atypical year on the streets, as some municipalities have decided to install fewer Christmas motifs and reduce the hours that they will be on, due to the constant increase in energy prices. In most cases, they assure that it will be a symbolic gesture rather than a real saving measure, and the merchants, aware of what the atmosphere that the Christmas lights give to their businesses, are understanding with the decisions of the consistories .
Reus, Torredembarra, Salou, Valls and La Ràpita are some of the municipalities that have confirmed in Daily that the Christmas lighting will go out earlier than other years.
In the capital of Baix Camp, the grounds will stop being illuminated at 11 pm, whereas before they were turned off at midnight. It is a measure that the city council has agreed with the commercial sector. Meritxell Barberà, president of the Unió de Botiguers de Reus, welcomes the decision and considers that it does not negatively affect business. “You can do both things, put on the lights, which create a favorable Christmas atmosphere for the sector, and at the same time reduce the time it is switched on, in such a way that we help the planet and reduce energy consumption”, comments the representative. For his part, the Trade Coordinator of the Reus Chamber of Commerce, Pau Salvadó, defends that «the Christmas campaign is the most important for trade throughout the year. And even more so in the current situation in which the sector has not yet recovered the activity levels of before the pandemic. That is why it is necessary to make available all the promotional elements that are necessary to encourage sales, and lighting is one of those determining elements.” However, he assured that "we are fully aware of the importance of raising awareness about energy saving, so we see this action of turning off the lights an hour earlier to teach the population about how these small daily gestures can help achieve a big savings."
Reus, Torredembarra, Salou, La Rápita and Valls will shorten the Christmas lighting schedule
In many municipalities, measures of this type are symbolic, since most Christmas lights already use LED technology and the cost is very low. An issue that they also highlight from the Reus Chamber, although they insist that "this specific exercise can help more to raise awareness among the population than not multiple advertising campaigns."
The Christmas lighting will also change this year in Salou. The Councilor for Economic Dynamization, Hèctor Maiquez, assures that «we will postpone the lighting of the Christmas lights for a week. Normally, it was done on the last Friday of November and this time it will be done on the first Friday of December, on the 2nd». And he adds that "the lights will go out an hour earlier at night, instead of at 1 in the morning, at 12 at night." All this will lead to a saving of 90 hours of operation, 26% less.
The Torredembarra City Council has also opted for less Christmas lighting. On the one hand, fewer reasons will be hung in the non-commercial areas of the town and, in terms of schedules, municipal sources assure that they will be turned off earlier, although what time it will be has not yet been decided. In the same way, in Valls the turn-on time of the Christmas lights will also be reduced by one hour, which will begin to illuminate on November 25.
La Ràpita is another of the municipalities in the province that will take measures along these lines, and that in fact it already took last year. From the town hall they explain that last Christmas the turn-off time was already two hours advanced, from one in the morning to eleven at night, to express disagreement with the increases in the price of electricity. This year it will go out even earlier, at 10 p.m.
Tarragona, for its part, has decided that, for now, it will maintain the same hours of Christmas lights as in previous years. “Christmas lighting is included in the city's general lighting contract. Looking ahead to this Christmas campaign, no changes are planned in the distribution of elements or in the switching on time. It must be taken into account that all Christmas lighting is LED technology and has a low consumption, which represents a small percentage of the city's lighting expenditure, "they defend from the consistory.
A decision celebrated by the commercial association VIA-T Tarragona Shopping. Its president, Salvador Minguella, defends that "Christmas lights are very important to give atmosphere to the streets." And he adds: "It is not something vital, but it is appreciated that the council invests in this type of thing for small businesses." Likewise, from the Tarragona Chamber of Commerce they defend the importance of Christmas lights as an element of commercial revitalization in the city, although they also defend the need to take saving measures, such as reducing hours or cutting the number of days of the campaign.
In the same way as Tarragona, Altafulla has LED lighting for Christmas reasons. In this sense, the councilor of Hisenda, Francesc Farré, points out that "they are of low consumption and the savings would be minimal, although we do not rule out reducing the schedule but rather as a symbolic action."
In El Vendrell they do not plan to reduce the hours of Christmas lighting or install fewer reasons in their streets, but they have thought it appropriate to save on electricity in other ways. Thus, they have decided to turn off the lighting of the monuments at 10 pm, when before it was on all night.