Despite the energy crisis, the Senate has no plans to restrict or ban the neon signs of companies in Berlin. “The state only has influence on advertising space on public roads for which there are usage agreements. A ban on neon signs is neither possible nor planned,” a spokesman for the Senate for the Environment told the Tagesspiegel.
Social Senator Katja Kipping had previously called for the glowing advertising to be switched off when in doubt. “Before it starts to freeze in private apartments, the neon signs in the street area should first be put to the test. You could save electricity immediately,” Kipping told the Berliner Morgenpost. Plans to reduce the energy consumption of billboards and lettering in Berlin have been around for a long time. In the Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Program 2030 (BEK), which was adopted in 2017, the Senate already mentioned the goal of promoting a “reduction in neon signs and the use of energy-efficient light sources (LED)”. However, despite the current situation, such programs have not yet been implemented.
According to the spokesman for the environmental administration, the project was “not prioritized” compared to other energy-saving measures. The conversion of street lamps, heating systems as well as house and building technology would have had priority.
In any case, solutions are “primarily to be achieved in dialogue with the contractual partners”. Legal requirements are therefore not possible. The environmental administration is therefore hoping for the companies themselves. They have “it is in their own interest, if only for cost reasons,” to make their neon signs as energy-efficient as possible.
For public administration, the Senate is currently trying to reduce energy consumption by at least ten percent. A task force led by Economics Senator Stephan Schwarz (independent, for SPD) is currently working on a plan of measures that should be ready by mid-August.
The administration has already started individual projects to save energy. Since last week, a total of 200 sights and well-known buildings have no longer been illuminated in the evening and at night. However, it will be a week or two before the headlights are switched off at all locations.