In the municipalities of Cēsis and Saulkrasti, public lighting has been reduced while the nights are short. Such decisions are based on efforts to save resources for use later in the fall. However, the real savings will come with the introduction of smart lighting in Cēsis, which is expected to be implemented next year, said Atis Egliņš-Eglītis, Vice President of Cēsis Municipality.
“Switching off electricity is the most primitive way to save money, but local government colleagues are now working on introducing smart lighting throughout the city of Cēsis,” said Atis Egliņš-Eglītis.
Recently, Jēkabpils succeeded in transforming all city lights into LED lamps. Jēkabpils City Council Chairman Raivis Ragainis said the municipality was not considering any short-term solutions, but was preparing for them in the fall.
“As soon as consumption starts to rise again, let’s think about how to reduce it. The price of electricity is terribly unpredictable, the problem remains, and it will be even more acute than in January,” Ragainis said.
Local government representatives are not yet talking about possible energy-saving measures in autumn and winter, as political decisions from the city council are awaited. The Riga City Council confirmed this.
The expected cost of heating is still a big unknown, but it will be a particularly big challenge for municipalities, said Aino Salmiņš, an expert from the Latvian Association of Local Governments.
“We have to start getting used to saving resources, and these are just the first [steps]. Last year we looked at such restrictions with skepticism, now it is more reasonable, and resources will have to be saved, not only to this extent. Note that there is no aid for schools and kindergartens, local authorities. [..] It may be necessary to limit the working hours of swimming pools, large gymnasiums, to keep sports classes outdoors for a long time,” Salmiņš said.
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