High prices force European retailers to turn off lights and cut opening hours to save energy

Reuters notes that as energy bills mount and the threat of rationing increases, some European retailers are turning off lights and considering shorter opening hours this winter.

Now, government officials are urging people and businesses to reduce power use and put in place contingency plans so they are less reliant on gas imports if Russia decides to turn off natural gas supplies.

Last month, the head of France’s largest food retailer said it could reduce opening hours at its stores to deal with power shortages. That came days after rival French supermarket operator Carrefour signed an “EcoWatt Charter” with national energy grid operator RTE, reducing electricity consumption in its stores during periods of high demand.

This all boils down to the fact that the dictionary definition of energy is the ability to do work. When we make energy more expensive or less available, we make it more expensive and more difficult to get work done. This translates into fewer hours of productivity at a much higher cost.