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"You can turn off up to sixty signs in one night": sportsmen climb the walls of cities to encourage energy savings

2022-08-06T16:55:20.430Z

REPORT – The “On The Spot” collective calls for the fight against energy waste by climbing the facades of shops to cut off the power to their windows. Under the benevolent gaze of the authorities.



It is half past midnight, the members of the “

On The Spot

” collective meet in front of the Châtelet shopping center, in the heart of Paris, where many store signs are still lit.

For two years, the group has been meeting at least once a month in the streets of the capital to climb the facades and turn off the illuminated windows.

These followers of

"Parkour

" - an acrobatic sports discipline - have made themselves known on social networks, by broadcasting videos of their impressive stunts.

It is in the middle of the night, when the streets empty and the restaurant terraces close, that the collective operates.

Like vigilantes, these young people, aged 16 to 36, go in search of switches with red lights, sometimes located several meters from the ground.

To reach them, they do not hesitate to put themselves in danger by climbing the facades, climbing the floors or walking along the windows.

When you're productive, you can turn off up to sixty signs in one night!

proudly asserts Kévin Ha, the spokesperson for the collective.

With each new store, a new challenge.

But sometimes, the work must be done as a team: “

Once, we had to make a pyramid with two people to succeed.

When you get there, you feel a great sense of

Says Hadj Benhalima, 21, with a smile on his face.

Raising awareness

But beyond the sporting adrenaline, the group made up of a dozen young people wants to convey an ecological message.

"We find it absurd that all these lights are on at night

," annoys Kévin, an engineer with a doctorate in oceanography.

The “

On The Spot

” collective was born from the “

Lights

Off

” movement,

which aims to cut off the power of illuminated signs.

Several branches exist in France, notably in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence or Nantes.

However,

“we are not politicized or militant, we are just sportsmen with an ecological sensitivity

”, wishes to clarify Kévin.

"

We will never replace the police, we just want to stimulate a positive dynamic to try to save energy

, ”he continues.

Read alsoEnergy savings: do you approve of the obligation for businesses to turn off their signs at night?

How do the authorities view these actions?

These are non-aggressive initiatives.

They highlight that certain rules are not respected

, ”says those around Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

Several times, it happened that the police questioned these young people, but their reactions were "

pretty positive

", is surprised Kévin.

Some know us from social networks, others know the law and understand our action

,” he says.

Even "

those who don't know the law don't bother us too much!"

»

A poorly respected law

According to a 2012 decree, traders are obliged to turn off their neon signs at least between one and six o'clock in the morning.

However, it was not until July 1, 2018 that the decree was issued.

But is it respected today?

The young people of the “

On The Spot

” collective are unanimous: many companies do not apply the text of the law.

This observation, the Ministry of Energy Transition shares:

“This law is indeed poorly applied

”, regrets the cabinet of Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

To try to remedy this, the minister announced at the end of July in 

Le Journal du Dimanche

the forthcoming publication of two new decrees, one of which concerns the extinction of illuminated signs.

"

The novelty concerns the fine for the offense

”, which goes from 750 to 1500 euros, explains the ministry to

Figaro

.

Kévin is delighted with this progress:

"We see that things are moving and it's positive, that's all we ask for

".

The members of the “

On The Spot

” collective are aged between 16 and 36.

Clara Hidalgo

It is the town halls "

which must ensure the application of the law

", by carrying out checks and issuing fines, we explain to the ministry.

The ministerial cabinet also affirms that these new decrees, which will come into force at the end of September, will facilitate the procedures for municipalities.

For its part, the town hall of Paris ensures that it is already fighting against light pollution, and that “

municipal police officers sanction

” the signs.

As for "On The Spot", the " non-reprehensible

" message

delivered by the collective expresses "

the interest of citizens

" for this theme, which is why "

it is important to take up this subject

".

The town hall also recalls the existence of an application called “

Dans Ma Rue

”, which allows everyone to report a “

light nuisance

”.

"

A lot of people do it, especially for wild garbage dumps,

" says one.

Read alsoEnergy sobriety plan: air conditioning, illuminated advertising ... The government is preparing to launch its first actions

This project to reduce energy consumption comes after Emmanuel Macron's speech on July 14, during which he announced the creation of the "

energy sobriety plan

".

"

This plan is part of a global dynamic to fight against energy waste

", and "

in a long-term strategy which aims to reduce energy consumption by 10% by 2024

", details the consulting firm. Agnes Pannier-Runacher.

Since then, several supermarkets and supermarkets have promised to reduce their lighting.

Source: lefigaro

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