Copenhagen to retain but reduce Christmas lights amid energy crisis

Christmas lights on Copenhagen’s central shopping street Strøget will be partially switched on this winter, with savings necessary due to high energy costs.

Copenhagen to retain but reduce Christmas lights amid energy crisis
Christmas lighting in Copenhagen in 2020. The city's Christmas lights will be retained but used more sparingly this year. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision was confirmed by the head of the Copenhagen traders’ association KCC, Michael Gatten, to local media TV2 Lorry.

“We have to make sure that retail here can attract visitors and Copenhageners. Christmas decorations are a precondition for revenue in shops and cafes. And it’s also a tradition,” Gatten said.

“Copenhageners and people from elsewhere come for a cultural experience of seeing the Christmas decorations in the Inner City,” he said.

Christmas lighting will however be reduced compared to recent years. Energy consumption for the decorations is to be 60 percent lower than last year, according to the report.

To achieve this, the lights will be switched on between 3pm and 9pm. Last year, lights in most streets were on from 7am until midnight.

Additionally, lights will first be used on November 27th, the first day of advent – two weeks later than in 2021.

Several municipalities in Denmark are considering reduced street lighting to save energy this winter, while some towns have cancelled their regular winter ice skating rinks.

Most of Copenhagen’s Christmas lighting energy bill is paid by the KCC trade association, with Copenhagen Municipality also contributing.

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Danish energy companies ordered to return 1.2 billion kroner

Energy companies must turn over 1.2 billion kroner of the last year’s windfall to the Danish treasury, according to the country’s tax minister.

Danish energy companies ordered to return 1.2 billion kroner

The money comprises part of the additional turnover raised by energy companies as a result of increased prices related to the energy crisis in 2022.

At least 1.2 billion of the extraordinary profit must be returned to the Danish state, tax minister Jeppe Bruus told business news outlet Finans. 

“Overall in 2023 there will be proceeds of 1.2 billion kroner. We want to return that money to consumers through the forthcoming negotiations on inflation relief,” Bruus said.

The minister meanwhile recognised that the 1.2 billion kroner sum is a fraction of what was expected to be recovered, which had been estimated at more than 10 billion. 

The tax ministry says it expects 800 million kroner from fossil fuel companies and 400 million kroner from electricity companies to be returned to the state through different regulations applied to either sector.

READ ALSO: Danish regulator says  electricity companies earn ‘excessive’ profits

In September, the European Commission said plans to cap to energy company profits as well as levy collections from fossil energy companies would raise 140 billion euros.

The policy was a key element of the Commission’s measures to relieve high energy prices for consumers.

The revenue will be used to assist consumers and small businesses that are struggling to pay bills.

READ ALSO: How much will energy cost in 2023 in Denmark compared to 2022?