Reader letter: It should be law for Chichester businesses to switch off lights when closed

Writes Stephanie Carn, of Whyke Road, Chichester
South Street, Chichester. Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR2202075 (3)South Street, Chichester. Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR2202075 (3)
South Street, Chichester. Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR2202075 (3)

I’ve recently read that the French government has ordered shops with air conditioning to keep the doors closed to save energy.

They’ve also told shops they face fines if they refuse to turn off illuminated signs.

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I read in the Chichester Observer, an account of a debate about turning off unnecessary lighting in council and other buildings.

North Street, Chichester. Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR2202075 (12)North Street, Chichester. Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR2202075 (12)
North Street, Chichester. Photograph: Steve Robards/ SR2202075 (12)
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Chichester businesses urged to switch off their lights when they close

However, here, instead of making it the law, the approach is a campaign called Switch off The Lights. Admirable as persuasion might be, surely a better policy is to make it the law to turn off lights at night, and keep shop doors closed when air conditioning is switched on.

Making something obligatory creates a level playing field so that those shops which do the right thing by saving energy, are not put at a disadvantage by others who carry on as usual, regardless of the need to save energy in the face of climate crisis.

These moves may also increase awareness of the climate chaos to come.

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People who see the closed doors and the dark windows will, hopefully, question why this is happening, and think about doing their bit to save energy in the home.

To share your views, send letters of no more than 250 words with your name, address and daytime telephone number to [email protected], or post to The Observer, Metro House, Northgate, Chichester, West Sussex, P019 1BE

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