It’s not Versailles here, yet a large number of shop windows remain lit late into the night or even all night in the center of Quimper. Especially real estate agencies, which illuminate small posters on which the goods appear. A commercial act that allows night walkers to see their dream house until the last hour. “This is what sets us apart from other agencies,” says an employee in one of them in the center of Quimper, enjoying the benefit of a large window lit up at night. “All the cars watch our window until late at night, it would be a shame to miss it”. The establishment, equipped with low-consumption LEDs, is actually at a crossroads.
But faced with rising energy prices and the risk of power cuts this winter, the government is calling for a collective effort to reduce energy consumption. This includes, among other things, the lighting of the windows. Some stay on until at least midnight and usually turn off automatically with a timer.
Many brands say they are ready to make an effort. Some have even already taken action. At Olivier Serveau real estate, the windows are now switched off at 20:00 instead of 23:00. “Communication is important, but you have to find a balance,” explains the agent. “We had already changed all lighting to install LEDs, and in light of the current situation, we are making efforts to reduce lighting time in the windows”. The next unresolved question: what about Christmas garlands, which make the shop window attractive and the town center warmer in winter?
In the neighboring agencies, it is time for reflection. At Terre d’Immo or at Immobilier Quimperois, managers turn to accountants and electricians to change their spending habits. The goal is to reduce the hourly amplitude of window lighting and heating before this winter, without affecting sales.
In the absence of state or municipal directives, small traders are “free to leave their windows open or not”, as Geneviève Coadour, president of the Vitrines de Quimper association, reminds us. “The problem is more at the level of the big brands”, whose directives on this subject come from the capital or other big cities.
In any case, the discussions on the energy sobriety plan for the city of Quimper are “in progress”, states Françoise Dorval, deputy of the town hall of Quimper for the ecological transition. “It is not the city’s task to legislate, but the state. The effort must be national. For now, everyone is free to do as they see fit. We can accompany you at the town hall. In other words, provide the keys to publicize the environmental impact of window lighting,” she explains. A decree from 2018 also reminds that night lighting of windows is prohibited after 01.00 to 06.00.