Streetlights in the Austrian capital Vienna are dimmed. The city known for its Christmas markets and New Year’s concerts wants to cut costs because of the ever-increasing energy prices.
That is why this year there will be no Christmas lights on the Ring, the famous boulevard in the centre of Vienna.
The lights on the Christmas market in the square in front of the town hall will only be switched on at night and not at sunset, as in previous years. In concrete terms, the lights will turn on an hour later on average every day. However, how much Vienna will save with the measures has not been calculated exactly.
Energy prices skyrocketed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s response to Western sanctions. The Austrian energy agency recently announced that the electricity price index for September had risen by more than 256 percent compared to the same month a year earlier.
Austria partly depends on tourism and the New Year celebrations for its income. In 2019, the last year before the corona pandemic shut down much of international travel, more than four million people visited the famous Christmas markets of the Austrian capital. Last year, some thirty shopping streets in Vienna were lit for seven hours a day from mid-November to early January.