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Goodbye Hot Showers and Street Lights. Here’s How Europe Is Slashing Energy Use

Countries from Spain to Finland are lowering room and water temperatures and dimming lights to avoid winter shortages.

Offices in the financial district of Madrid.

Offices in the financial district of Madrid.

Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Europeans are taking colder showers, offices are turning down thermostats and stores are dimming lights to avoid blackouts and freezing homes this winter in the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

As the Kremlin slashes gas deliveries and power-plant outages intensify a supply squeeze, Europe has little alternative but to curtail demand. Measures so far have been uneven, but the urgency is growing as wholesale prices continue to surge.