Lights out early for Eiffel Tower as Paris saves energy

PARIS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Paris will switch off the Eiffel Tower's lights an hour earlier than normal, lower the water temperature in municipal pools and delay heating public buildings to save energy this winter, the city's mayor said on Tuesday.

The measures are aimed at meeting President Emmanuel Macron's goal that industry, households, and municipal authorities reduce their energy consumption by 10% in response to Russia's cut to gas supplies and spiralling energy prices.

Around Europe, countries are looking for ways to cut energy consumption and fill up their gas stores in preparation for a possible total cut-off.

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France is not as exposed to Russian gas as some neighbours but a record number of nuclear reactor outages has forced France to import power when it would typically be an exporter, exacerbating the pressure on power markets.

A night view shows the Eiffel tower, reflected in a car's roof, in Paris, France, April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

"France will always be the City of Light", Mayor Anne Hidalgo said.

The Eiffel Tower is currently illuminated until 1 a.m. by a lighting system that lends it a golden glow. At the top of each hour while lit, it twinkles thanks to 20,000 flashing bulbs. Extinguishing the monument's lights at 11:45 p.m. would mean a 4% reduction in its power consumption.

Hidalgo said that from Sept 23 lighting in Paris' public buildings would be switched off at 10 p.m. while the water temperature in pools would be reduced to 25 Celsius from 26 Celsius. The heating in public building will be dialed down to 18 Celsius.

The capital's energy bill would hit 90 million euros this year, 35 million more than usual even with long-term electricity and gas contracts shielding authorities from the worst of the cost increases.

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Reporting by Caroline Pailliez; writing by Richard Lough, editing by Alexandra Hudson

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