Germany has signed off emergency measures for the winter, including turning off lights in public spaces, amid the spiralling energy crisis.
Berlin, which is heavily reliant on Russian gas imports, is bracing itself for shortages in the coming months.
Gazprom – the gas company that is majority-owned by the Russian government – has cut gas supplied to Germany to 20% of its capacity following sanctions brought in over the war in Ukraine.
The company claims the reduced supply is due to technical issues, but Germany says it is a politically motivated response.
As such, the Bundestag has been forced to find ways to reduce the usage of gas amid fears the country is falling short of the gas reserves it needs to see it through the winter.
From 1 September, buildings and monuments will be banned from being illuminated for aesthetic purposes, and businesses could be banned from keeping their shopfronts lit from 10pm to 6am.
Public buildings, with the exception of social institutions such as hospitals, will also not be allowed to be heated above 19C.
The heating could be turned off entirely in corridors and foyers.
A ban is also planned on the heating of private swimming pools.
Announcing the measures on Wednesday, economy minister Robert Habeck said:"Overall the measures save energy. However, not to the extent that we can sit back and say, 'That'll do now.
"They will roughly reduce gas usage by 2-2.5%."
It is hoped the measures will save private households, and the public sector around €10.8bn (£9.12bn) over the next two years.
However, the move has brought safety concerns for people in town and city centres, The Local reports.
German Retail Association CEO Stefan Genth said energy saving must not be undertaken at the expense of people's safety.
He added: "With shop window lighting, we ensure safety and social responsibility in cities, especially in the less frequented periods at night."
Germany is not the only European nation which is striving to cut gas usage in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
All EU member states have pledged to a voluntary 15% reduction in gas consumption by the end of March 2023.
The feat is going to be difficult, as before the invasion, Russia supplied 40% of the EU’s gas and 55% of Germany’s.
In France, trials are underway in 14 communes in the Val d'Oise department north of Paris to fully switch off public lighting for three-and-a-half hours every night.
“The energy [price] boom made us take the step and try this experiment,” Yannick Boëdec, mayor of the Cormeilles-en-Parisis commune, told BFMTV in June.
Anne-Marie Ducroux, the spokesperson of ANPCEN, a French association fighting light pollution also said turning off the lights is the "easiest" measure to take as it "costs almost nothing and ... immediately pays off in euros, in kilowatt hours saved and in reduction of light pollution."
The government has also warned energy price caps cannot stay in place forever.
Government spokesman Olivier Veran also warned on Wednesday that France can not hold on to billion euro energy price caps to help households cope with soaring inflation.
Gas prices in France are currently frozen and the government had also put in place a cap for power price hikes, but both measures are set to expire this winter.
"There may be price increases," Veran said.