Chinese city turns off lights to save energy during heatwave

Chengdu, the provincial capital of China’s Sichuan Province, has decided to dim outdoor advertisements, subway lights and building signs to save energy amid a record heat wave. The temperature crossed the 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) mark this week. This has led to a massive demand for air conditioning. This in turn dries up the reservoirs. The province depends on dams for most of its electricity demand.

These measures taken to save energy have begun to affect the factories. A joint venture with Japanese car giant Toyota was forced to cease operations. Millions of residents in the city of Dazhou are facing power cuts.

“The hot and humid weather has pushed the city’s electricity supply for production and daily life to its limit,” Chengdu urban management authorities said in a notice posted on social media on Thursday.

The statement said Chengdu is facing the “most serious situation” and outdoor landscape lighting and advertisements have been ordered to be turned off.

Chengdu Metro said in a video on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform that it would also turn off advertising lights and “optimize” the temperature at stations to save energy.

Photos have been shared on Weibo of dim lights on subway platforms, in malls and on walkways. Commuters could be seen walking in partial darkness.

The sweltering heat is also drying up the Yangtze River, with water flow on its main trunk about 50 percent lower than the average for the past five years, state media China News Service reported Thursday.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 9:57pm on Sunday August 28th, 2022