“Turn off your air conditioners when they are not needed” is the message coming from Rome's ecology-conscious mayor Ignazio Marino.
As well as bicycling to work and pedestrianising the roads around the Colosseum Marino he has now turned his attention to air conditioners. Finding the cooling system still running in the city council's main meeting room Marino turned it off. According to a report in the daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera he explained to those present that cooling an empty room was a waste of money.
Only about a decade ago it was rare to find air conditioners anywhere in the city. Now they are ubiquitous, not just in apartments and offices but also in idling cars.
Fans, once the solution to Rome's summer heat waves, have now gone out of fashion. The advantages of fans? They cost less to buy and run, they don't need a complicated installation system and above all they don't blow hot air out into the environment. Stand by the outlet of an air conditioning system and it is obvious how much heat it blows into the air outside.