Tartu follows Tallinn in canceling New Year's fireworks display
Estonia's second largest city Tartu is committed to emulating the capital that aims to use various measures to save €10 million this year. While it is clear Tartu residents will not be treated to a fireworks display to mark New Year's, whether and how much temperature will be lowered in municipal offices, as well as when to switch on Christmas and street lights remains to be decided.
Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas said that his city also needs a saving plan, while it will sport a longer time horizon that just the coming winter months.
"We are talking about investments we have made or plan to make next year for this economizing to have a bigger effect," Klaas said.
The mayor pointed out Tartu's plan to replace 7,000 sodium-vapor lights with LEDs to cover most of the city.
"The budget for it is around €2.8 million, and it is estimated to save the city €700,000 annually. Therefore, we will have saved quite a bit of money after just a few years."
Klaas said that Tartu is currently weighing whether to reduce or change street lighting hours and whether the university city will have Christmas lights this year.
Lowering the temperature in city offices is also mulled. Klaas suggested that while lowering room temperature by a single degree can save 5 percent on energy, it needs to be considered where such measures would be sensible. Looking ahead, Tartu started linking around ten city offices that had until then relied on gas heating to the district heating network this summer.
Tartu is not planning on reintroducing diesel city buses. Klaas hopes that the city can keep its biogas buses, with relevant efforts in the works.
"The biogas we use is produced in the administrative territory of Tartu, while what it costs is tied to the world market price of gas. We are negotiating a somewhat lower price with the producer, considering universal price hikes," Klaas remarked.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski