France to order air-conditioned stores to keep doors closed

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Paris (AFP)- Air-conditioned shops in France will be ordered to keep their doors closed or face a fine, a minister said on Sunday announcing an upcoming rule to tackle energy waste.

Leaving the doors open while the air conditioning is on leads to “20% more consumption and … it’s absurd”, French Minister for Ecological Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher told RMC radio.

The minister said there are also plans to restrict the use of illuminated signs.

“In the next few days, I will issue two decrees: the first will expand the ban on illuminated advertising, regardless of the size of the city, between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.”, with the exception of airports and train stations , Pannier-Runacher told the Journal du Dimanche.

“The second will prohibit businesses from opening their doors as long as the air conditioning and heating are working”.

Some towns in France – which, like other parts of Europe, have recently been hit by a heatwave – passed bylaws in July imposing fines for offending air-conditioned shops.

The government now plans to roll this out nationwide, with a fine of up to 750 euros ($766) – but will focus on educating traders first.

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