Lombardy economy and war, the mayors turn off the lights and cut the heating: “We have to save” – ​​Corriere.it

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Lombardy economy and war, the mayors turn off the lights and cut the heating: “We have to save” – ​​Corriere.it


Of John Bernard

Lampposts off on roads and cycle paths, low temperatures in schools. The choices of municipalities to reduce consumption, absorb price increases and reduce energy bills. Examples of Borgocarbonara in Quistello (Mantova), San Fiorano in Santo Stefano (Lodi), Lecco and Varese

High bills weigh not only on the budgets of families and businesses, but also on the accounts of public bodies. And not a little. So much so that a few days ago, Lisetta Superbi, mayor of Borgocarbonara in the province of Mantua, decided to tackle the problem head-on by starting to reduce electricity consumption by reducing the intensity of public lighting and turning off some city lights. A decision that some citizens did not particularly appreciate, but that the municipal administration of the city, born just over three years ago from the merger of Borgofranco sul Po and Carbonara di Po, considered necessary in the face of the latest public lighting bills: more than tripled compared to last year.

Lower energy bills

In Mantua, Mayor Superbi’s decision paves the way. In Quistello, for example, my colleague Gloriana Dall’Oglio organizes the shutdown or the reduction of lights deemed not strictly necessary. “Citizens are informed – is the communication to the inhabitants of Borgocarbonara – that the increase in electricity costs forces the municipal administration to implement measures aimed at containing the costs themselves. These days there is an operation to reduce the power and turn off certain light points to optimize consumption. Similar restrictive measures are also being adopted in some buildings and public spaces. These restrictions will remain in place until the energy emergency persists, hoping to return to normal as soon as possible.” “Unfortunately – adds Superbi – the current situation is complicated, especially for small municipalities like ours. We decided to do this to reduce expenses which risk becoming unsustainable, but at this rate I believe that even the largest municipalities will find themselves in difficulty and will have to adopt similar measures. We did not leave the whole country in the dark – he specifies – but, in agreement with the technicians of the sector, we reduced and turned off the lights where possible”.

Province of Lodi

Savings also in the Lodi region: the lights of the cycle path between San Fiorano and Santo Stefano have been off for a week. For San Fiorano alone, about 1,800 inhabitants, it is estimated that energy costs will increase by more than 60 thousand euros compared to 2021. A worrying situation that convinced the mayor of San Fiorano, Mario Ghidelli, to act. So in addition to the streetlights that illuminate the bike path, they have been turned off also those of the playground in piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII. “The increase in bills worries us a lot – explains Mayor Mario Ghidelli -. Small towns like San Fiorano risk being seriously disrupted. And it is not excluded that in the coming months, with the crisis that could overwhelmed with the war in Ukraine, things can’t even get worse. You have to be prepared”.

In the Lecco area

In Dervio, in the Lecco region, all halogen lamps have been replaced by LEDs. Before the winds of war inflated the cost of electricity and gas, the administration had already decided to change the bulbs of all the municipal buildings: gymnasium, schools, soccer field, lampposts along the main arteries. “A 70% saving on energy costs – explains Mayor Stefano Cassinelli – which allows us at this time to limit the damage and avoid having to close streets and squares. Even if the situation for the pockets of citizens and administrations remains dramatic. The invitation is to turn down the heat. The fear is that the worst is yet to come”. Finally, in Buguggiate, in the province of Varese, the municipality ordered the reduction of heating in schools one degree despite the still cold temperatures these days.

(Andrea Camurani, Carlo d’Elia and Barbara Gerosa collaborated)

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March 8, 2022 (change March 8, 2022 | 09:51)

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