Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

New Yorkers call on mayor to shut off Times Square lights to save energy

City Hall requested residents turn off air conditioners to conserve energy in high heat

Clara Hill
Thursday 01 July 2021 13:36 BST
People on social media were quick to highlight that turning the power off in Times Square might save some energy
People on social media were quick to highlight that turning the power off in Times Square might save some energy (Getty Images)

New York City residents have asked the mayor to shut off Times Square’s lights to save energy after the city asked residents to do the heavy lifting on conservation.

Mayor Bill De Blasio told New Yorkers to limit household energy use at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon and residents later got a text alert urging the same. He advised people to turn off air conditioning units despite temperatures reaching above 34C and to not use washing machines or dryers.

He said, “We are now experiencing a heat emergency, and we need people to take immediate action.”

“We have a real challenge on our hands. So, here’s the message to all New Yorkers: Immediately reduce the use of electricity in your home or in your business. This is serious stuff.”

The grid is feeling the strain across the US this week as the country contends with record-breaking temperatures.

However, people online were quick to point out there were better methods the city could take to save power, such as turning the lights in Times Square off.

“Not New York City sending me an emergency alert telling me to turn off my AC when Times Square is lit up like she is, wrote Alex Abad-Santos.

“NYC’s mayor just told us to turn off our air conditioners. The brands of Times Square are still blazing and consuming. These are screenshots of live webcams taken just now,” wrote another person.

Dan Hevia wrote, “Turn all these big a** billboards off in Times Square before you ask me not to make a Hot Pocket.”

James Flyreen said, “Damn you think if we’re suppose to be conserving energy in NYC they could turn off some f***** ads in Times Square instead of my air conditioner in a heat wave lmaoo.”

“NYC sending a text to residents to turn down the AC while leaving Times Square lit up is a great example of how the “individual responsibility to stop climate change” has been pushed to redirect our focus away from the corporations & failed government policy causing the most harm,” wrote another person.

David Shuster said, “On a day when it is over 90 degrees, NYC officials say the AC in residential homes and buildings is not essential… but god forbid NYC should turn off one f****** ad or screen in Times Square. Amazing.”

Sari Beth Rosenberg said, “Dear NYC: Turn off Times Square before telling NYC residents to turn off stuff. Thanks!”

“Mayor: ”New Yorkers please turn off your a/c” New Yorkers: turn off times square,” another user agreed.

“Babes, turn off all the lights & screens in Times Square???Can’t solve a climate emergency by placing all of the action on individuals,” said Jane Hardy-Jones

Sativka Luther said, “NYC really telling me to limit my AC usage to prevent outages. How about you turn off the lights in Times Square.”

One user replied to the messaging from City Hall with, “But Times Square is still lit up like a Christmas tree.”

A heat advisory remains in effect across New York and much of the tri-state area, with heat indexes reaching 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City, according to the National Weather Service.

A slow-moving cold front is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms across the area on Thursday, the agency reported, potentially dropping temperatures before another heat surge over the weekend.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in