many public buildings in the city have already gone dark, Source: Stefan Widua/Unsplash

Berlin will go dark this winter, but Christmas lights will still come on

Berlin will go dark this winter, but Christmas lights will still come on

The local Senate has introduced a package of measures, aiming to curb municipal energy consumption

This week, authorities in Berlin announced their plan to save energy through the coming winter. According to the strategy, municipal authorities, buildings and infrastructure will be able to reduce energy consumption by 10% by turning off building lights and lowering the thermostat.

The city will establish a cross-departmental force to coordinate savings, as energy austerity will be in force until 31 March 2023. Authorities have said that if the gas shortage continues, measures could be extended.

At the same time, however, as the DPA reports, Berlin’s Senator for Economy, Stephan Schwarz, explained that the city’s Christmas lights and decorations will not be affected by the energy curb, as they are the result of a contract signed in 2020.

Additionally, Berlin’s winter Festival of Lights will also avoid power savings measures, as Senator Schwarz pointed out that it is a private endeavour altogether.

Measures in the public sector

The temperature in public buildings will be set to 20 degrees Celsius, corridors should not be hotter than 16 degrees and gyms’ thermostats will not go above 17 degrees. Additionally, at night and on weekends, temperatures should be even lower.

Schools, day-care centres, the police and the fire department, as well as temperature-controlled works of art, will be exempt from these regulations.

Furthermore, the Senate plans to turn off the warm water in many of the public buildings, excluding showers and washrooms. Also, artificially heated outdoor swimming pools will be closed, while those indoors will maintain a temperature of 26 degrees.

In terms of street lights, many public buildings are already in the dark and authorities are working as fast as possible to replace street lights with energy-efficient LEDs. Some city sections will also lose street lighting, though specific decisions will be made with the help of the Berlin Police Department, with regard to safety.

Moreover, Berlin still has a fair number of gas lanterns, which will be switched off entirely.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU