National roundup: municipalities are taking action to reduce their energy consumption

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More and more municipalities across Denmark have been forced to look for ways to reduce energy consumption to save on soaring energy bills.

The municipalities of Frederiksberg, Gladsaxe, Brøndby, Glostrup, Halsnæs and Albertslund are considering switching off streetlights to reduce their energy consumption.

The municipality of Frederiksberg, for example, estimates that reducing the use of streetlights by one hour a day will save them 300,000 crowns a year. Also, turning off ambient lighting for trees and so on will save them 200,000 crowns per year.

The municipality of Solrød already seems to be leading the pack. They have been turning off their nightlights from 1:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. on weekdays since 2004.

READ ALSO: Energistyrelsen plans energy rationing

Schools can lower temperatures
Primary schools are also considering lowering heating temperatures to reduce energy consumption.

The municipality of Svendborg has already reduced temperatures by 21 to 20 degrees in all of its primary schools and kindergartens.

Energistyrelsen also encourages households to reduce their energy consumption at home and has compiled a list of various actions to consider at SparEnergi.


Phone use is responsible for many driving fines
Since September 2019, drivers have been fined 1,500 crowns for using a mobile phone while driving, and this will also result in penalty points on your driving licence. Of the 91,985 penalty points awarded in 2021, around a quarter (23,376) were due to wanting to drive with a mobile phone. The data comes from 12 police districts and also sheds light on where in Denmark the most and least penalty points have been accrued. Copenhagen led the way with 5,529, while Bornholm and North Zealand had the fewest – just 76 and 976 respectively.

Long-term unemployment has never been so low
The Labor Market and Recruitment Agency revealed that there were 12,400 registered long-term unemployed in Denmark in July 2022. According to the data, the number is the lowest since 2007, when the registration of long-term unemployment has started. “These figures did not come by themselves and are due to the fact that the government has changed its economic policies. Unemployment and long-term unemployment reduce self-esteem and skills, and are also costly to our society, so the news is fantastic,” said Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard.

Foreign criminals must pay more to be deported
Economic rules for foreign criminals expelled from Denmark have been made stricter. Many costs are associated with sending criminals back to their country of origin, so the government has decided to make them pay a bigger share. Any money returned on release has been removed and the 15% they usually have to repay has been increased to 50%. “It makes no sense to pay money to criminals once they have been released. It is only fair that they themselves bear part of the costs of sending them back to their country of origin,” said Mattias Tesfaye, Minister of Justice.

Danes are eating more than before the pandemic
Statistics from Danske Bank revealed that in the first two weeks of August, 29% more people in Denmark went out to eat than in August 2019. There is an increase of around 9% in the number of people who have spent money at the restaurant. compared to what was spent elsewhere. The closure of all restaurants during the lockdown is likely the reason more people are choosing to eat out, as they value time spent with family and friends even more than before.

Few assault victims report being assaulted
New reports from the Department of Justice show that only 32% of assault victims and 23% of domestic violence victims report the crime to the police. The figure is even lower (9%) for victims of psychological violence. According to Minister of Justice Mattias Tesfaye, many victims believe that reporting crimes will lead nowhere and this deters most victims from coming forward. The news comes despite police districts developing specialist teams of trained staff to help victims who have suffered trauma.

Government toughens gang crime laws
A new gang deal has been unveiled by the government. It consists of various tools and new fines measures to help reduce the number of gang-related crimes. An example of what the government will do to reduce this number is to introduce “pocket money jobs” for teenagers aged 13 to 17 in a bid to encourage them to work. Additionally, anyone with a prior conviction for gang-related activity will be prohibited from contacting other gang members. And anyone convicted of drug-related crimes will not be allowed to travel outside of Denmark.

Farmers raise the most children
Figures from Danmarks Statistik reveal that farmers in Denmark have more children than in other professions. Some 87% have children, compared to an average of 66% observed in other occupations. These results hold true for farmers over 25 years of age. Farmers’ level of education has also increased over the years, with 4% more having obtained vocational training from 2010 to 2020. Half of farmers are over 55 and three out of four are married – 5,400 farmers were married in 2020.

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